Course Requirements and Online Expectations

Online courses at Mount Marty University vary in duration. Classes are taught through Brightspace, the institution’s Learning Management System. Brightspace is accessed through LancerLink, an online portal for MMU students. Class format varies but many times includes presentations, discussion boards, research papers, exams, and other assignments.

Students have the option of enrolling in MMU part-time. Those who wish to explore this option should work with an advisor to plan their schedules. Clinical/Practicum hours are a requirement of all nursing programs. Students may choose to fulfill this requirement somewhere that is easily accessible to them.

All of MMU’s online courses meet the same academic requirements as our on-campus courses. When you sign up for online courses, you experience the same course objectives, assignments, and learning outcomes as you would in a traditional classroom.

Online courses at MMU may be synchronous or asynchronous, meaning that they may or may not meet at a predetermined time. Most online classes meet for weeklong modules, and you will attend class by logging into Brightspace, MMU’s Learning Management System. Through Brightspace, you receive all class assignments, including reading, research and multimedia, and you take part in class discussions through online discussion boards. 

An asynchronous class allows you to access course materials at any time during the weekly modules, take part in discussions with your instructor, and participate in threaded discussions with your peers. Potentially, you will be assigned readings, case studies, discussion topics, research assignments, and projects, all of which you will complete in a fully online setting. Prerecorded lecture presentations are often part of the asynchronous online learning experience.

Many students find that online courses require a good degree of self-motivation. In addition to self-motivation, success in an online course or program requires daily visits and active participation. With on-campus classes, you meet your classmates and instructor face-to-face, but in online classes you get to know them through their postings. As opposed to traditional on campus courses, online courses generate self-directed learning.

All MMU faculty hold a master’s or doctorate degree in their teaching discipline. Coursework, lectures, facilitation and active-learning strategies are presented by experienced faculty members. Class discussions focus on applications of learning that relate to your career and life. Our faculty bring valuable real-world experience to the class.

Students are expected to participate actively in and contribute to the learning experience in an online course. A significant activity may include submitting a forum post, an assignment, an assessment, or other contribution that advances the learning process for a student/other students in the course. Students must meet the minimum attendance requirements to stay active in the class or will be subject to administrative withdrawal.

Students are expected to participate actively in and contribute to the learning experience in the course. Participation means providing substantive comments, questions and contributions that advance the learning process for you and/or other learners in the course. Participation may include responding to questions and issues posed by other learners. Nonsubstantive comments, nongermane comments and comments of the nature of “I agree” or “I disagree” (unless the latter two are elaborated upon to make them substantive) do not count toward meeting the participation requirement.

Students can submit written assignments through Brightspace. Instructors have the discretion to grant other options for submitting assignments. Options for submitting a written assignment to your instructor may include submitting the assignment through an assignment link or posting the assignment to a discussion board. Your instructor and instructions within your Brightspace course will provide more information on how you should turn in your assignments.

When you write a paper, you can find everything you need to research your projects and class work through the Mother Jerome Schmitt Library. You can use the library to access a vast selection of books, and periodicals, as well as online databases, journals and other online services. Library staff can be reached at or (605) 668-1555. Assistance with academic writing is available through the Center for Academic Excellence.

Faculty contact information is provided to you by the instructor when you first begin the course through the course landing page, the course syllabus, and the online directory. Professors are easily accessible via email or phone.

MMU's online courses allow you to study at your convenience.  Deadlines, tests and required outcomes are outlined in course syllabi. Online learning is meant to be flexible and available 24/7. Some course activities may be synchronous such as group meetings, presentations, etc.

One of the advantages students have in online programs is the ability to interact with instructors and a diverse student population.  Each course varies in its approach and all courses use different forms of interaction which may include chat rooms, e-mail, blogs, conference calls, social media, and other forms of interaction.

In some courses and in some instances, students will work and collaborate in small groups. In all cases, these instances are determined by the course instructor.

The average amount of time spent per week studying will vary by course, course work, and program.  Generally, students should plan on an average of 10-15 hours of studying per week for course work.  These hours will vary depending on the type of course work such as a reading assignment versus a written project.