New to Distance Learning?

Welcome to CNM's Distance Learning Orientation 

The Distance Learning Department has created this orientation for students taking their first online class at CNM. You may be wondering what to expect from an "online" course, and you have many questions about what you need to get started. This orientation will provide you with useful information that will prepare you for online coursework and help you decide if online learning is right for you. Our goal is to help you be successful taking online courses!

CNM Jump Start Course

The CNM Jump Start Course will help students gain the skills necessary to successfully complete distance learning classes. The course will introduce students to the tools to access course materials, communicate with classmates and instructors, submit homework, take tests, and check your grades. We encourage students to self enroll in the Jump Start Course before they start their distance learning classes.

How to Self Enroll

  • In the "Course Catalog" box there is a link called " Jump Start Course ," click on the link.
  • Then at the bottom of the next page you will see " Jump Start Course " with a pull down arrow. Click on the arrow.
  • Then click on the word, " Enroll ."

What is Distance Learning?

Distance Learning provides educational opportunities that are not limited to the time and space constraints of traditional classes. Online instructors use a wide variety of tools such as online lectures, assignments, tests, discussion forums, internet articles and streaming video. 

Earning college credit by taking online courses is convenient and flexible, but responsible study habits and the ability to learn independently are necessary to successfully complete the course.

Types of Courses

Online Courses

100% Online Courses

Blended Courses

Blended Courses

Hybrid Courses

Hybrid Courses

Is Distance Learning Right for Me? 

Taking an online class has many advantages including:

  • flexibility in completing class assignments,
  • the ability to communicate with your classmates and your instructor from the convenience of your own home or workplace, and 
  • enhanced access to written materials in a variety of formats including discipline specific internet resources.

However, an online class is not for everyone. If you require the discipline of meeting on campus several times a week and you enjoy the in-person interaction between other students and your instructor, you are more likely to succeed in an on-campus class. The following are characteristics of students who would do well in an online class. 

Successful Online Learners usually have the following characteristics: 

  • are self-motivated (doesn't need a lot of direction and motivation from an instructor)
  • are self-disciplined (budgets time wisely and meets deadlines) 
  • enjoys the challenge of learning on their own (enjoys reading and learning)
  • takes charge of their own learning (asks questions and gets necessary help)
  • understands and remembers what is read
  • communicate well in writing 
  • may need a flexible schedule but understands that flexibility does not mean the course will be easy

How Much Time?

Online course study requires independent learning and adhering to a structured schedule. Online courses are most appropriate for disciplined students who can work independently and complete course work on time. You will need to balance your time around the requirements of the course. 

Some students believe that an online course will take less time than a traditional classroom course. While you save time commuting to campus and attending a class, you will still need to allow time for the course. 

A rule of thumb is to expect to spend at least three hours each week studying for every credit hour. 

So for example, if you are taking a three credit hour online course, expect to spend at least nine hours on the course materials each week. It usually is better if you can spread these hours throughout the week instead of planning a marathon study session on one day. 

What Do I Need to Take an Course Online?

Required Course Materials 

Refer to the Course Schedule for required texts and any additional course materials needed. 


Access to a desktop or laptop computer is necessary for working in your online class. 

Internet Access 

Fast, reliable internet access is vital to your success in an online class. 


To download any of these, click on the names of the software, and follow the directions on the pages. 

Review the following document to see a detailed list of requirements, DL Technology List.

How to Log into CNM Learn 

Once you have registered for an online or hybrid course, your course will be listed in CNM Learn. You can enter it on the first day of class. See the CNM Course Schedule for start dates. 

Log in CNM Learn, follow these steps: 

  1. From the CNM Website ( click on CNM Learn at the top left of the page.

    CNM learn login

  2. Log in using your CNM username and password. These are the same username and password you use when you log into myCNM. Click Login.

    Blackboard login

  3. Once you're in CNM Learn, look for the My Courses module box, which will show all your current courses. Click on a course name to enter a class.

    Blackboard Course List