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Student Resources

About Learning at the Mount

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The Center for Instructional Design and Delivery (CIDD) supports student learning and success by providing resources and services to help students leverage instructional technology to enhance learning. Explore the resources below to learn more.

Description of Course Formats

To be a successful learner at Mount St. Mary’s University, it is important to understand the type of course you are enrolling in. Learn more below about the various learning models available to students in Emmitsburg (EBURG), Frederick (FRED) and ONLINE.

Visit Canvas for a video and infographic with more details on course formats.

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In-Person (IP)

A course with in-person meetings only. Students should not expect to be able to attend using web-conferencing (i.e., Zoom). Location will indicate FRED or EBURG.

In-Person (WC)

A course with in-person meetings and web-conferencing available (i.e., Zoom). EBURG UG students must obtain permission from the Associate Provost to attend using web-conferencing. Adult Accelerated students may attend courses in person and/or via web-conferencing. Location will indicate FRED or EBURG.


A course with in-person meetings and synchronous/asynchronous teaching blended to equal the required credit hours. The meeting day and time will indicate the synchronous portion of the class.



A course with regularly scheduled meeting times using web-conferencing only (i.e., Zoom).


A course with all content delivered online without a specific course meeting day or time. Instead, content is completed within assigned date ranges. Any scheduled meetings are typically limited to capstone events and/or proctored exams.


A course with synchronous meetings using web-conferencing (i.e., Zoom) and asynchronous teaching in Canvas blended to equal the required credit hours. The meeting day and time will indicate the synchronous web-conferencing portion of the class.

professor at lightboard in the Mount's Express Studio

Express Studio

The Express Studio is a space for the Mount community to create high quality videos with the touch of a few buttons. With just a short training, the Express Studio is available for users at any technical comfort level. Studios are available at both the Emmitsburg and Frederick locations and the entire Mount community is encouraged to take advantage of this innovative resource.

Learn More About the Express Studio

Online learning FAQs

The Center for Instructional Design and Delivery (CIDD) is here to support student learning across all course delivery modalities including web-facilitated, blended, online, and remote instruction. Please see the FAQs for more information, or contact us at

Is an online class easier than an in-person class?

An online class is not easier than an in-person class. It is simply delivered differently. Both require the same expectations as far as course objectives and learning outcomes. An online course may require more student reading or viewing of videos than an in-person course because course instructions and lectures often are delivered asynchronously, meaning they can be read and viewed at a time convenient to the student as opposed to a regularly scheduled class time. However, some courses meet synchronously online, meaning students still meet face-to-face with their instructor utilizing online conferencing tools such as Zoom. In this case, differences between a traditional, in-person course and a synchronous online course may be minimal.

What are some characteristics of students who succeed with online learning?

Students with good time management, organization, and communication skills are generally successful with online courses. In asynchronous online courses (no prescribed meeting time) in particular, it is important for students to schedule time to work on their courses throughout the week. Otherwise, the workload might be too great immediately prior to due dates. Effective communication skills, both written and verbal, also contribute to success with online courses. Today's learning management systems often provide for both written and audio/video communication.

How comfortable should a student be using computer software?

An online student should be comfortable using various technology tools and have the following skills:

  • Understand basic computer hardware and software
  • Be able to manage files and folders using operations such as save, copy, rename, delete, etc.
  • Be competent in the use of Microsoft Office or applications similar to Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Be able to send and download files and attachments
  • Be able to communicate using email
  • Be able to use the Internet to access content and to use search engines.
  • Be able to utilize online conferencing tools including camera and microphone.

How much time is typically required per online class each week?

Depending on the duration of the course semester, the amount of time to be dedicated to an online course per week varies in much the same way it would for an in-person course. Typically, an in-person course requires a certain number of "seat hours" or the hours that you attend the course in-person. A synchronous online course would be the same. Then, outside of those "seat hours" students are generally expected to spend approximately 2-3 hours of preparation time for each hour of seat time. As an example, if a course meets for 3 hours per week, students could reasonably expect to spend 6-9 hours per week working on homework, completing assigned readings, studying for exams, etc.

In asynchronous online courses, the expectation is the same. Afterall, a 3-credit course in one learning modality should require the same amount of work as learning in another modality, in order to earn the same 3 credits. The difference is that a student should expect to add the "seat time" to the total asynchronous hours devoted to the course each week.

Are there resources for accessibility?

There are numerous resources available for accessibility of course content. Mount St. Mary's University's Learning Services is available to support students with their learning needs through both robust technology tools and personalized support.

What do I do if I'm having trouble with Canvas?

Canvas is where course content, grades, and communication will reside for this course. Should you need assistance using Canvas, visit Canvas Support and click on the Help icon in blue global navigation panel. From that link you will have access to:

  • A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document with direct links to support.
  • Canvas Guides for Students.
  • Live chat with Canvas Help Desk (24/7/365). MSMU has the premium subscription. Please don't hesitate to contact Canvas for help.
  • Live phone support, also 24/7/365. Call 1-866-562-1237.
  • CIDD is also available by phone at 301-447-5805.

For Canvas passwords or any other computer-related technical support contact the ITSC Help Desk.

What if I am having difficulties with my Zoom session?

Strategies to support students having difficulty with Zoom include:

  • Contact ITSC at
  • Log out of Zoom and re-enter the Zoom session
  • Email professor

Technical Considerations

To learn more about technical considerations and support, visit the Information Technology Support Center (ITSC).

Visit ITSC