Student Resources

To watch orientation videos for students in online classes, click here. To learn more about the recent Canvas user interface (UI) change, click here

About our platforms

To deliver a rich, interactive learning experience for students enrolled in its for-credit courses, Online Learning uses the Unversity's LMS, Canvas, as well as two synchronous videoconferencing platforms, Adobe Connect and Zoom. Most course will use either Adobe Connect or Zoom, not both, and your platform will be specified in orientation materials sent prior to class. 


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. 

You can access Penn's instance of Canvas at by logging in with your PennKey and Password. You can 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.
  • Participate in many class activities including discussions and group assignments, upload assignments, complete exams and quizzes, record multimedia, download readings, watch lecture and other videos, etc. 

Adobe Connect and Zoom 

In the Adobe Connect or Zoom Session, 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
  • Watch and give presentations 
If your course is using Zoom, read more about Zoom here

If your course is using Adobe Connect, it's important to test your personal computer's ability to run the Adobe Connect classroom before you first class. 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.