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Student Resources

Welcome to Penn Nursing Online Learning!

Online Learning at the School of Nursing features fully and partially online, for-credit courses that use both online course sites (in Canvas) and video conferencing tools (usually Zoom or BlueJeans).

More than just a means to download course readings and email classmates, online learning at Penn Nursing is designed to facilitate faculty and student interaction and collaboration. Through multimedia tools, asynchronous and synchronous lectures, and real-time discussion, students become actively engaged with the material.

To help make your online learning experience the best possible, access the Technology Orientation for Online Learning:


Test Your Tech IQ | Technology Prep Checklist  | Penn Technology Tools


How are online courses different from other courses I have attended?

The following breakdown illustrates the differences among online, hybrid (partially online), and traditional courses you may have attended previously.

Online Courses
  • 100% of the course is conducted fully online.
  • A Learning Management System (LMS), such as Canvas, is used for all communication and class work.
  • There are no required on-campus class meetings.

 Hybrid Courses
  • Typically, 50% or more of traditional face-to-face class time is replaced with online or out-of-class work.
  • Courses make use of an LMS or other online tools for coursework and communication.
  • Class time is schedule to work in conjunction with online coursework and activities.

Traditional Courses
  • Courses are set up in a traditional, face-to-face format.
  • An LMS and/or other online tools are used together with the classroom to supplement face-to-face coursework.
  • Class time and meetings occur normally.

Adapted from: About Online Learning , University of Washington Bothell

How do I identify an online or hybrid course?


In the Penn Registrar course timetable, look for the locations highlighted below:






How do I know if I’m ready for an online course?

Find out if you are prepared for online learning by taking the quiz below:

What are the benefits and challenges of taking an online Penn Nursing course?








  • Students and faculty enjoy flexibility, access, and convenience in courses that can be taken and delivered from any location. 
  • Interaction and engagement can be seen from all class participants and not only the few who are comfortable raising their hands. Students have the opportunity to reflect prior to writing a response.
  • Successful online programs can also lead to increased satisfaction, higher retention, and enrollment for students who are able to satisfy requirements and pursue interests from home or while working.
  • The benefits of online learning to the University of Pennsylvania are myriad. Online learning expands access and extends reach to a global audience. 


  • Faculty members often need to rethink their course design and use different strategies for teaching, engagement, and assessment in the online environment. 
  • Faculty members need to come up with more creative ways to build connections both between teachers and students and among students as a whole.
  • Students who are new to the online environment or possess low motivation may fall behind or get confused.  
  • Although it is not necessary to have advanced technical skills, it is important to feel comfortable using a computer and navigating the internet.  
What can I expect from online courses in terms of workload?








Students often sign up for online or hybrid courses with the misconception that these courses will require less of their time for course work than a traditional course. This misconception might arise because the in-person class time has been reduced.  However, online and hybrid courses are just as rigorous, meaning just as much work as (if not more work than) traditional courses and should be treated accordingly.

Much more time will be spent communicating through formal and informal writing in online and hybrid courses. Be sure to check the syllabus for the instructor’s preferences for communication format, writing conventions, etc.

How can I use Canvas on my mobile device as a student?







Canvas is built on open web standards, so most features are supported on mobile devices. With the growing use of mobile devices, instructors should build their courses with best practices for mobile in mind.

Mobile Browsers

You can access Canvas from any browser on your Android/iOS device. However, mobile browsers are not supported, and features may not function as expected compared to viewing Canvas in a fully supported desktop browser. On mobile devices, Canvas is designed to be used within Canvas mobile applications.

Mobile Applications

We are actively improving our native mobile applications to support as many Canvas features as possible. Instructure has two native mobile applications for students free for download on both phones and tablets.

  • Canvas Student (iOS 10+, Android 4.2+)
  • Polls for Canvas (iOS 7.0+, Android 4.0+)