Distance Education Resources

Desire2Learn (D2L) is the learning management system used to deliver online courses at CMU. Login in to D2L or access through MAVzone.

Register for a D2L Refresher course if needed. 

Submit support requests via Help Desk tickets as needed or contact Distance Education

Students who are having access issues may also contact Student Services on main campus by email to StudentServices@coloradomesa.edu. WCCC students on the Bishop Campus may also contact WCCC Student Services at 970.255.2670.

  1. The primary point of communication should always start with your instructor. 
  2. Instructors will continue to hold office hours virtually. Check your D2L class shell for times and methods.
  3. Frequently check your CMU email and D2L for updates.
  4. Communicate with instructors about participation/assessments/due dates if off-campus access to tech/internet is not adequate.
  5. If needed, communicated with Education Access Services regarding accommodations needed for online aspects of courses.
  6. As needed, check out campus resources online, such as the Library database and the Tutorial Learning and Writing Center.

You will need a computer that connects to high-speed Internet, and your university username and password.

To have the best learning experience possible, please be sure you have access to the recommended technology minimums:

  • High-speed Internet connection
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 or higher
  • Microsoft Office 2013 or later
    • CMU offers Office 365 free to all students.
    • Login in to MAVzone à Select Applications in the navigation bar à Launch Office 365 à Click on Install Office
  • Mac OS 10.12 or higher
  • Java Runtime Environment 8
  • The current version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
  • D2L works best with Chrome and Firefox. Remember to keep your browser updated. The latest version of Safari and Edge may work with D2L but not all associated tools. Internet Explorer is not supported by D2L. For more information on supported browsers for desktop and mobile devices, check out D2L’s Brightspace Help Browser Support.
  • To check your personal system, check out D2L’s System Check.
  • For courses using multimedia, you will also need speakers or earphones to play sound.
  • Please note: A Chromebook is NOT compatible with the technology needed for online classes.
  • If using a mobile device, you may want to download the mobile apps below and check out this useful mobile apps guide.
    • Microsoft Office 365
    • Pulse (D2L)
    • Panopto
    • Voice Thread
    • Zoom


Keep track of due dates: 

  • D2L
  • Outlook calendar 
  • Physical planners, calendars, or whiteboard calendars 
  • Virtual planners or calendar apps on your phone


Manage time and be self-regulated and motivated:

  • Set time aside to do homework, study, and read each day; it's just like going to class.
  • You should plan for about 3 hours of work per credit hour each week. For example, if you are taking a 3-credit hour class, carve out 9 hours per week to work on it
  • Schedule reminder alarms on your phone or laptop to keep you on track.
  • Develop a routine. You don’t have to follow it exactly but try to stay true to it most days.


Avoid distractions 

  • Turn off notifications from social media until after you’re done with your work/studying. 
  • Tell yourself that once you finish an assignment or study, then you can go on social media, play video games, go outside, or take a nap; but you have to finish it first. 
  • Let roommates or family members know that you will be studying/doing assignments and not to come into your room or workspace until you’re finished.
    • Make a physical "do not disturb" sign.
    • Post a virtual “do not disturb” or “busy” message in phone apps frequently use.

Take Breaks

  • Take a walk 
  • Play with a pet 
  • Make some food 
  • Exercise/stretch
  • Do some chores


Learn how to talk online 

  • You'll need to communicate through email, discussion boards, chat windows, and/or audio/video virtual meetings. 
  • Keep communication professional, just as if you were talking to instructors and classmates face-to-face. This is usually called "netiquette."


Create a comfortable, reliable and efficient workspace 

  • Find a quiet area without distractions 
  • Keep reliable technology nearby
  • Make it comfortable 
    • Supportive chair, enough space for textbook, device(s), etc. 
    • Good lighting in your workspace: Natural light; open blinds and curtains to let light in; invest in a desk lamp to better read books or see your written assignments 
  • Keep your workspace clean and organized: Keep books, notebooks, sticky notes or a pad of paper, calculator, writing utensils, water bottle, headphones and anything else needed for your course work nearby so you can easily access them. 
  • Use this area just for studying or doing assignments if possible. Doing other things in it will lead you to become distracted when you study or do an assignment in that area. 


Learn how to use your technology

If your professors require you use applications for activities or assessments, you’ll already be familiar with and prepared to use them effectively. This makes learning more efficient and can help make online assignments easier and quicker to do. 


Invest in technology that can make doing assignments easier 

  • USB or wireless keyboard/mouse for use with a computer, laptop or mobile device 
  • Headset (For participation in Zoom or Teams sessions. We recommend using a headset for sound quality in web conferencing applications, such as Zoom and MS Teams.) If a headset is not available, built-in mic and speakers may work.
  • Headphones (for listening to audio/video content)
  • Microphone (if laptop, desktop computer, or mobile device does not have a built-in one)
  • Webcam (if laptop, desktop computer, or mobile device does not have a built-in one)
  • USB flash drive

As part of CMU’s dedication to ensuring the campus is able to communicate and connect during this time, the university has a secured a contract with Zoom to provide Zoom Pro accounts to all students, faculty and staff. Zoom can be accessed by faculty through D2L and by the wider campus community through the Zoom app in MAVzone. The following link will walk you through setting up your Zoom account.

We hope this additional software will allow you to continue to connect to your Mavily.

Below are a few fun, CMU Zoom backgrounds you can use! 

 CMU Zoom background number 1

CMU Zoom background number 2

CMU Zoom background number 3

CMU Zoom image number 4

CMU Zoom image number 5

Online learning tips with Ed and Blair

Tips for online learning with Ed and Blair, your fellow Mavericks.

This video series is designed to help make your online learning transition a little easier. Get the latest tips from Distance Education student workers, Ed and Blair, who understand what it's like to study virtually. 

View the video playlist