Overview of Online and Blended Programs

Since the mid-1990s, the University of Minnesota has offered classes and later full academic programs through online and blended delivery. The University now offers more than 50 online and blended learning programs through its five campuses, providing educational access to both local and distance learners. Over 2,000 courses are available online. During the 2016-17 academic year, more than 24,000 students were enrolled in at least one online course. The number of students taking at least one completely online course was up five percent over the previous year.

In the online and blended learning area, the Center for Educational Innovation collaborates with instructors and academic units to:

  • develop plans for professional development for online instructors,
  • engage faculty with tools and resources for teaching online,
  • assess feasibility, costs, and marketing approaches for online programs,
  • articulate and develop unit-level approaches for strategic online course offerings,
  • foster networks across the University of Minnesota to deepen online learning experiences,
  • support academic unit efforts to provide students with expanded access to degree and certificate programs through online and blended options,
  • provide prospective students information on online and blended courses and programs through the University of Minnesota Online website and call center, 
  • advocate for streamlined policies,
  • oversee the U of M Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) partnership with Coursera, and
  • provide leadership for inter-institutional online partnerships related to online learning.