Student Resources

To watch orientation videos for students in online classes, click here

Considering taking an online course this summer?

If you are considering taking an online course this summer but aren't sure what to do, visit Penn Summer Online for more information. You can find a complete list of online courses here. If you are instead looking for non-credit classes taught online by Penn faculty, try Coursera, where a number of our faculty offer free coursework.

About our platforms

To deliver a rich, interactive learning experience for students enrolled in its for-credit courses, Online Learning uses Canvas and Adobe Connect.


The homebase for all online courses at the University of Pennsylvania is Canvas.  For each fully online course it offers, Online Learning collaborates with faculty to build a unique and robust course homepage within the Canvas learning management system. This course site allows students to hold class discussions in threaded forums, meet virtually through Big Blue Button video conferencing, and submit homework and take exams from the comfort of home.

You can access Penn's instance of Canvas at and find detailed guides about its features at

In Canvas, you will:

  • Join your community of Penn colleagues to discuss your program, upcoming events and more.
  • Join your classmates in a course site specifically designed to support an online class.

Adobe Connect

In the Adobe Connect Live Classroom, you will:

  • Attend live, synchronous classes and review sessions online
  • Chat live with instructors and TAs
  • Use messaging, microphones, and/or webcams to communicate with instructors and peers

Before your first class, it's important to test your personal computer's ability to run the Adobe Connect classroom. You can do so here. Once you've confirmed your computer can run Adobe Connect, follow these steps in advance of your first class meeting:

  1. Log into your Adobe Connect classroom as a guest, using your First and Last names.
  2. Be sure to have your headset or webcam installed on your computer in advance of class if required for your class.
  3. Arrive to your class meeting early to confirm your access to the classroom.

For additional help, please see this orientation guide.

Click here for system requirements for Canvas and Adobe Connect. Below, you can watch a presentation on how to use Adobe Connect.


Combined, these two platforms serve the University of Pennsylvania with engaging, rich learning content developed by our outstanding faculty and staff.

Online Learning logoCanvas logoAdobe Connect logo


*Each online credit course has an associated $150 fee to support the costs of technology platforms, equipment, digital & remote services, and staff required to offer online courses.