Technical Aspects of NMU Online Learning

Northern Michigan University is a technologically progressive institution. In fact, NMU is one of the largest notebook computer campuses in the world with nearly 10,000 Lenovo ThinkPad and Apple MacBooks on campus. The university has been widely recognized for its technology initiatives.

Most students come to NMU with their own computers. But, if not, or a student wants to pursue online learning, he or she can participate in Northern’s Teaching, Learning and Communication program and receive a notebook computer for a per-semester fee. To learn more, go to the TLC opt-in Web page.

Students using technology to further knowledge is a way of life at Northern. Still, it is hard to predict some of the uncontrollable technological factors for students when computer types, network connections, connection speed, Internet browsers and hardware/software all differ. NMU's support for information technology includes a Computing HelpDesk and MicroRepair service area. The IT support team want to help students' technology work properly for a successful online learning experience.

By necessity, the university makes some basic assumptions about online students. The first is that your computer has capabilities that are close to what the current on-campus ThinkPad and MacBooks have, both from a hardware and software perspective. Northern assumes students have enough experience with technology in order to complete an online course without constant technological assistance. It is strongly encouraged students take the NMU online aptitude quiz

Students should evaluate his or her Internet connection and browser options to determine its compatibility with an online learning experience. Online courses can be accessed through any high speed Internet service (e.g. DSL, cable). If students are within NMU's WiMAX coverage area, he or she can access the Internet using a NMU-registered ThinkPad or with a WiMAX receiver, purchased through MicroRepair. Many online courses require a high-bandwidth connection, so students should consult the Computing Helpdesk and his or her course instructor prior to registering.