Online Learning

Online students work inside a course management system on their computers or mobile devices to complete assignments and interact with instructors and classmates. There are due dates for course work, but students can log in to the course management system at their convenience.

Online students communicate with their instructors and classmates through discussion boards, group assignments, and the occasional live online event. Students often say the online environment allows them to learn as much from their classmates as they do from their instructors and assignments.

Our online courses are offered through the system developed at the Bloomberg School of Public Health which has been a leader in distance education for almost 20 years.  Through their Introduction to Online Learning  course, student receive an orientation on specific technologies used in online courses. However, students should have a reasonable knowledge of basic personal computing before they take an online course. Specifically, students should be able to:

  • Navigate a web browser
  • Compose and format documents in commonly used software programs
  • Upload and download files
  • Work within a file/folder structure on their computer
Hardware/Software Requirements

If you are taking a fully online course, you must have:

  • A reliable Internet connection
  • A reliable email service
  • A good working knowledge of Microsoft Office
Operating System

Windows 7 or later

Mac OS X 10.10.5 or later


Windows: Microsoft Office 2007 or later; Adobe Flash Plug-in (latest version only); Adobe Reader.

Mac: Microsoft Office 2008 or later; Adobe Flash Plug-in (latest version only); Adobe Reader or Preview.

Students need a USB (Universal Serial Bus) headset microphone. Built-in or laptop microphones are not acceptable for online course work. Support will not be given to students who have analog (stereo plug) microphones.

IMPORTANT: Students will need administrative access to the machine(s) they will be using for their course work in order to download safe third-party software like RealPlayer, Adobe Connect, Adobe Reader, and Flash Player. Also, students should be aware of any firewalls or other restrictions associated with the machines and/or locations they plan to use for their studies before they begin their course work.

Web Browsers

CoursePlus requires one of the following web browsers for full functionality:

Windows: Chrome; Firefox; Internet Explorer 11+ or Edge (running Internet Explorer in Internet Explorer 7/8/9 compatibility mode is not supported.)
Mac: Chrome; Safari 9+; Firefox

No other Web browsers are supported. Using an unsupported Web browser will result in significant errors while using CoursePlus.

For the most up to date computer requirements, click here.

Introduction to Online Learning

Introduction to Online Learning (IOL) prepares a student for taking online courses offered through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health by using CoursePlus, the School’s course management system. The course is designed to give students clear examples of the fundamental design principles for online courses: time-boxed, cohort-based, and highly collaborative. Attention is on learner responsibilities and communication/collaboration strategies. While ensuring that an individual computer and network connection is compatible with the tools used in CoursePlus is an important part of the course, the primary focus is on the course experience and not on teaching basic computer and Web browsing skills.

Please note: This course is only offered once per month (see dates below). Do not wait until just before an academic term starts to take IOL! Unforeseen issues (such as problems with LiveTalk) can require some students to take IOL multiple times before passing, and the School will not allow a student who has not passed IOL to enroll in an online course.

Click here to register for the Introduction to Online Learning.