A pioneer in distance and online learning, CDU offers academically excellent courses within an engaged learning community. All courses are offered fully online asynchronously, so you can study where and when you choose.
Hardware and Software Requirements
To take courses, you need a fully functioning computer, tablet, or smartphone with an Internet connection and web browser. For courses with audio or video, Adobe flash or a media player may be needed. A printer is also strongly encouraged.
Final exams for academic courses are taken using Examity®, an online proctoring service, which requires:
- Desktop computer or laptop (not a tablet or Chromebook)
- Webcam and microphone (built-in or external)
- Connection to network with sufficient internet speed: at least 2 Mbps download speed and 2 Mbps upload
- Operating systems: Windows XP or newer, Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or newer
- Browser with pop-up blocker disabled: Google Chrome v39 or later, Mozilla Firefox v34 or later, Internet Explorer v8 or later, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari v6 or later.
Courses are delivered on the widely used Canvas platform, via multimedia presentations, videos, and lectures, which benefit every type of learner. Mobile apps are available for study on-the-go. Students find Canvas easy to use, but we encourage you to read and watch the helpful user guides and videos available at https://community.canvaslms.com/community/answers/guides/. The Canvas guide also provides information about system requirements for the online campus.
Once students have registered for a class and login to the online campus, courses are accessed via a Canvas dashboard. Each course has a homepage that helps students navigate to a welcome area, the course syllabus, and weekly modules. Students also have access to the Student Life area, which provides valuable resources and fosters the rich learning community, and the Library.
The Online CDU Library is open to students 24/7, and the Librarian is available daily via Canvas, email, skype, and phone. All students can access the Online Library through Canvas; links to the Library can be found on the left sidebar of each course. The Library’s collection includes EBSCO and ATLA e-books and periodicals, resource links, the Catholic Encyclopedia, and other resources. The Theological Ebooks Library Project is a valuable resource that provide ebooks to students wherever they are located. Research modules designed to assist students with writing and citation assistance are also provided. An agreement with the Woodstock Theological Library at Georgetown University for onsite library use and interlibrary loan affords students access to other materials.
Online Group Courses for Academic Credit
CDU offers courses for academic credit at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students choose the day and time within each week of study to log into their course rooms. Participation in a professor-led discussion is required, and most courses require a term paper and a final exam proctored by an online service.
Course Room Design
Research demonstrates that interactive group classes offer the optimal learning environment. CDU’s course design encourages interaction with the professor and other students. Each course provides:
- The atmosphere of a classroom with the benefits of online interaction and full participation of all students in discussions
- A detailed course syllabus, with weekly assignments and schedules
- A weekly lecture, presented in text or other media
- A discussion area where students post questions and responses about the week’s lecture
- Weekly online discussions, quizzes, or other assignments described in the syllabus
- Access to the instructor during office hours or via course communications
- Open access 24/7 with a continuously staffed technical help desk, accessible via messaging or phone. A preview the weekend before classes start to review the syllabus and course requirements in advance.
Continuing Education Courses
CDU’s non-credit online courses provide continuing education in basic catechetics, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Constitutions of Vatican II, the history of the Catholic Church in America, Church teachings on Catholic morality, spirituality, prayer, and Mary’s role in the Church.These courses:
- Are accessible 24/7 so students can study at their convenience
- Consist of 3 – 6 lessons
- Have open book, automated assessments
- Require a one-page reflection paper or final exam
- Are easily completed within two months
- Award Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
- Provide certificate opportunities.
“My classmates actively worked together to come to an understanding of the material. I learned so much from the discussions. This is something I thought I would miss out on in an online class. Not so! I feel the discussions are much better as they continue throughout the week.”
—Denise Mayer – AA in Liberal Arts student