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Online Learning

Realize your Potential

Contact Us

College of Southern Maryland
8730 Mitchell Road
PO Box 910
La Plata, MD 20646-0910

Blackboard Login Instructions

The College of Southern Maryland is committed to implementing the Quality Matters (QM) standards for the design of online and hybrid courses. CSM is systematically developing and evaluating courses based on rigorous, research-based standards. The QM standards ensure that online courses promote learner engagement and provide students with all the tools and information they need to be successful learners.

General Information

Our alternative learning formats make college more accessible to those who have busy schedules. If your work schedule, family obligations, or transportation arrangements make it difficult to attend regularly scheduled classes, try one or several of the distance learning formats we have available. To learn more about distance learning take a self-guided tour:

What is Online Learning?

Historically, taking a "distance learning course" meant correspondence study.  For CSM students, taking a online learning course is a way to learn and achieve college credit:

  • with a flexible and convenient schedule
  • from any place
  • using the Internet or other technologies

Although you may be physically separated from your classmates and instructor, online learning courses are highly interactive, learner-centered environments. You actually have increased access to your instructor and classmates through email, discussion forums, and online conferences.

Also, you have an increased number of informational resources available to you at your fingertips from the Internet.  With online learning, you have a more flexible schedule, and benefit from being able to take a class at home or at work.

What is an Online or a Web-Hybrid Course?

Online Courses are designed to bring campus-based classes to students' computers.  The instructor provides information posted on a course Web site that guides the student through course content, prompts discussions, and helps students keep pace with assignments.  Due dates for assignments, a logical learning pattern, and start/end dates that correspond with a semester create a classroom that is available at a convenient time and place. Students may be required to take proctored exams or on-campus assessments at a testing center.  Learn more about online courses by visiting our distance learning online courses web site.     

Web-Hybrid (Blended) Courses blend on-campus instruction with web-based instruction.  Students meet on campus according to the published schedule of classes with approximately half of the course instruction and/or activities occurring online.  Web-hybrid courses create flexible learning options while allowing students to meet face-to-face with instructors and other students.

Are you Ready for Online Learning?

Are you prepared to take online courses at CSM?  SmarterMeasure is the premier solution for identifying levels of student readiness for online learning.  SmarterMeasure has been used by thousands of students to determine if distance learning is a good fit for them.  You will be asked questions on topics, such as "how well you can use a computer," "how motivated, organized, and self-directed you are," and "how you prefer to learn new information."  You will also be able to measure your on-screen reading speed and comprehension.

Relax, though, because SmarterMeasure is fun. Your scores on this assessment will not prevent you from taking online courses.  Moreover, your scores do not impact your grades in courses you are currently taking.  SmarterMeasure is being provided by CSM to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses better as you prepare to learn online. SmarterMeasure is a tool to help you succeed!

We encourage you to take a few minutes and complete the SmarterMeasure Survey.

Login information:
user name: csmd
password: student

Student Demo Course and Online Tutorials

To help prepare students to be successful in online courses, College of Southern Maryland offers online orientations. These orientations consist of tutorials and a demo course.

The tutorials will provide step-by-step instructions needed to use many of the tools and features you’ll find in an online course. A demo course  has been created for you to experience what it’s like to be in an online course.

Procedures for Taking Quizzes/Exams for Online Learning Students

Online Courses:

If you are taking an online course, please review your syllabus for information on where, when and how assessments will be administer.

MarylandOnline (MOL) Students:

If you are taking a course through MOL, your instructor is the source of information about all classroom tests and assessments.
Your instructor provides information on where and when assessments will be given.

Out-of State/Country Students:

Follow these steps to take your classroom tests if you are taking a CSM distance learning course.

Step 1. Contact your local college to find out how you can take your tests.
Step 2. Ask your local college Testing Center or other designated office to request a copy of your test from College of Southern Maryland.
Step 3. Arrange to take your test. You may be charged a fee for test administration/monitoring.
Step 4. Your instructor will inform you of your test results.

Online Programs

College of Southern Maryland offers the following accredited online associate degree programs, certificates, and letters of recognition.