Current Students

Distance education and online students have access to their lecture recordings within a day of class. Having the ability to re-watch lecture content can help you master the content presented by professors. Now you can watch lectures, take exams, and submit assignments all in the comfort of your home, as your schedule permits. No in-person testing requirement. Explore the options below to help you navigate distance education at Lyle. 


What is the difference between distance education and online education?
Our distance education courses offer the class recording within 24 hours after the actual in-person class. Step into the class virtually by viewing the previous day's recording in-person class in the comfort of your home.

Our online courses provide a personal connection with your distinguished professors in the field with synchronous classes. These classes are scheduled after 5 pm to cater to the working professional.

What are the recommended computer requirements for distance education students?
The minimum technical requirements necessary for distance and online programs are listed below. Additional criteria may be needed to complete coursework. Contact your instructor or refer to the course syllabus for further information on course-specific needs. 

  • Computer (desktop or laptop) less than three years old
  • Smartphone or iPad for uploading handwritten exams
  • Speakers or headphones
  • Webcam with a microphone for web-conferencing and exam proctoring
  • Stable internet connection
  • Current internet browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome
  • VLC media player (optional for viewing downloaded videos)
  • Ability to install software as necessary, including Lockdown Browser
  • Ability to install Canvas Student App on smartphone or iPad

Where do I find my enrollment, transcripts, or school financial information?
The Student Dashboard on places all your academic essentials within reach. Click here for detailed instructions on completing enrollment and other tasks. 

How do I register for classes?
You can self-enroll through using your SMU ID and password. Click here for registration instructions. Sections 400 are distance education courses; sections 401 are online courses. Section 401 classes may have limited spots for non-online students. 

How do I remove Holds on my account?
You can remove Holds by logging into Click here for detailed instructions on removing account holds. 

What is Canvas?
Canvas is SMU's Learning Management System. Materials distributed through Canvas include PowerPoints, videos, assessments, assignments, and grades. Login into Canvas for additional information.   

How do I access my course content?
Course content is available in Canvas. Once the instructor has published the course in Canvas, you can access the course materials, including the recorded lectures. The courses are published between one week before classes start to the first day of class. 

How do I access my class recordings?
The class recordings for distance and online programs are available in Canvas under the Panopto option within 24 hours after the class. If the recordings are unavailable, please email with the course name and time of the recording. 

Who do I contact if my course videos are not available after 24 hours of the scheduled class?
Send an email with your course name, date, and time to

How do I take my Midterm and Final Exams?
The instructor will communicate with students about the expectations of the course. Any required midterms and exams are administered digitally with or without Lockdown Browser. Please contact the instructor if you would like to opt for an in-person exam in the classroom. For digital PDF exams, students will upload the image of the completed exam in Canvas. Off-site proctors are no longer an option.

Do I have flexibility when I take the Midterm and Final Exams?
We understand that many students need flexibility because of their schedules. Please contact your professor to coordinate when you can take the midterm and final exams.

What is a Canvas exam?
A Canvas exam is an exam set up in Canvas. The exam can be a digital PDF or embedded in Canvas. For digital PDF exams, the exam is a PDF displayed on the screen, and students will write their answers on a sheet of paper and then upload their answers in Canvas. With the Canvas embedded exams, students input their answers directly in Canvas.

How does a digital PDF exam work?
The exam is available in Canvas at the instructor's selected time. You will log into Canvas, select Quiz, and select the exam name. Specific directions are available on the screen. You will view the exam and write your answers on a blank sheet of paper. Once you have completed the exam, you will upload the answers in Canvas. Your instructor may use Lockdown Browser for remote proctoring.

How do I upload my handwritten exam answers in Canvas?
Install and sign into the Canvas Student App on your smart device (phone or iPad). Take a photo of your exam with your device. On the Canvas App, select Assignments and the Upload Exam Name. Please be sure to write your name and student ID number on each sheet of paper. You will have limited time to upload the exam, usually 10 minutes from when you finished viewing the exam.  

What is Lockdown Browser?
Lockdown Browser is a program installed on the computer that locks you out of any other programs while taking an exam. It also monitors and records you through your webcam and microphone. Click here for more information.

For technical support during an exam, contact the OIT help desk or Lockdown Browser Live Chat

How do I install Lockdown Browser?
Students can install Lockdown Browser by selecting the Lockdown Browser option in Canvas or by clicking here. Do not download the program from other links on the web since it will not be associated with SMU. 

How do I prepare for taking Exams using Lockdown Browser?
Besides studying for the test, make sure that you are in a quiet area without distractions. You will need to scan the room with your webcam at the beginning of the exam and show your ID card to verify your identity. 

How do I get Lockdown Browser help during the exam?
For technical support during an exam, contact the OIT help desk or Lockdown Browser Live Chat

How do I see my exam grades?
Grades should be posted in Canvas under the grades option.

Can I come to campus for lectures?
For online courses, all classes are on Zoom. For distance education courses, please connect with your professor to ensure there is space in the classroom and ensure you get a parking pass. Click here for more information on Parking and I.D. Services.

How do I access SMU library resources?
SMU Libraries has extensive online library resources available to all students. Click here for more information. 

How can I get technical help?
The Office of Information Technology (OIT) can assist you with any technical issues. Click here for email, phone, and chat contact information.