Distance Learning

Guide to Online Learning at Donnelly College

As you consider taking classes online at Donnelly College, we encourage you to take a few moments and review our Guide to Becoming a Successful Online Learner. This guide is designed to help you understand what online learning is like and provide you with tips to succeed in your online courses at Donnelly College.

Take the Self-Assessment Survey to see if Distance Learning is the right option for you:

Self-Assessment Survey

Why Online?

Online courses are by no means easy courses. You will be required to complete course readings and assignments, and be expected to get actively involved in all kinds of learning activities, just like in a face-to-face course. Most online courses are as demanding (if not more so) as face-to-face courses, and may have some different expectations for students. For example, you will be asked to spend more time participating in online discussions because online discussions play a crucial role in online learning. You will generally need to communicate your ideas in writing rather than verbally. In addition, you will be responsible for keeping up with the work and completing the learning tasks by specific deadlines.

The Benefits of Online Learning

  • Access and Opportunity: Online learners have new opportunities to enroll in courses that may not be available where they live and which allow them to manage work and family commitments.
  • Flexibility: Online learners can access course materials anytime and anywhere.
  • Economical: Online learners can save time and money by avoiding difficult commutes, which will allow them to spend more time learning and less time traveling.
  • Self-directed Learning: Online education focuses on a learner-centered paradigm which can promote and enhance self-directed and self-oriented learning. This helps students develop a goal-oriented mindset and self-paced learning style which can benefit a learner’s career and personal life in the long run.
  • Quality Education: The quality of online courses is just as good as that of traditional classes

Common Characteristics of Online Learners

  • Drive to Achieve: Many online learners decide to pursue further education based upon their personal motivation to advance professionally.
  • Balance Multiple Commitments: Many online learners are non-traditional students (Myers-Wylie, Mangieri, & Hardy, 2009). This includes people with full or part-time jobs, married or single parents, retirees or the unemployed looking for a new career or professional development.
  • Awareness of Learning Styles and Preferences: Like all learners, online learners have different learning styles, such as auditory, visual, or kinesthetic (Myers-Wylie et al., 2009). They may have different technology preferences as well. For instance, while some people prefer to read books and articles on a computer screen, some still prefer to read printed material. Some students may benefit from using tools that support these preferences.
  • Diverse Backgrounds: There are no geographical or time limitations for taking online courses. The cohort of online students is very diverse in age, ethnicity, profession, and language. This may include international students and students with disabilities. Successful online learners embrace this and enjoy being a part of a diverse learning community.
  • Enjoy Learning Opportunities Relevant to Their Lives and Work: Online learners want to make sure that learning is meaningful to their personal and professional life (Myers-Wylie et al., 2009). Case studies, problem solving activities, simulations and other approaches that offer opportunities for students to connect learning to their own lives and work are most rewarding.


Our online programs provide students with the flexibility and convenience of attending classes anytime, anywhere. Courses are conducted in Canvas, an accessible Learning Management System. Here are some links with information relating to Canvas:

Donnelly College Support and Information

As a student at Donnelly College, you are responsible for reading and abiding by the University policies, procedures and deadlines outlined in the following documents:

Student Support Services for Online Students

Donnelly College has a full range of student services to support you as you pursue your degree and career goals online.  As an online student, you will have access to the following services:

Need more information? Contact:

Donnelly IT Support

  • (913) 621-8795
  • itsupport@donnelly.edu
  • https://www.donnelly.edu/students/it-support

Canvas Support

  • (855) 593-0400
  • https://community.canvaslms.com/