Teaching & Learning Resource Center

Student Guide to Instructional Modes 

All Ohio State classes are held in one of four delivery modes: in-person, hybrid, distance-enhanced, or distance learning. This guide will help you understand the differences between each mode and learn tips to boost success in all your classes. 

What can you expect from your courses based on the instructional mode? 

In-person courses are conducted 75-100% on campus and 0-24% online.

In-Person Course 

Conducted in person, with or without a limited amount of online instruction and interaction

For a 3-credit hour semester class, you can expect: 

  • Scheduled classroom time on campus each week, usually totaling just under three hours (includes classes broadcast live to regional campus classrooms) 
  • Possibly some online instruction and interaction  

  • An average of six or more hours of preparation and homework each week 

Learn tips and time management skills for in-person classes.


Hybrid courses are conducted 25-74% on campus and 25-74% online.

Hybrid Course 

A combination of in-person instruction and online instruction  

For a 3-credit hour semester class, you can expect: 

  • Instruction time equal to a 3-credit hour in-person class, with some of this instruction occurring online 

  • On-campus and distance components may alternate consistently or only certain class sessions may be on campus 

  • An average of six or more hours of preparation and homework each week 

Learn tips and time management skills for hybrid classes. 

 


Distance-enhanced courses are conducted 1-24% on campus and 75-99% online.

Distance-Enhanced Course 

Conducted primarily online but enhanced by some in-person events  

For a 3-credit hour semester class, you can expect: 

  • During most weeks of the class, 2.5-3 hours of instructional activity and interaction is conducted online 

  • One or more required on-campus sessions 

  • An average of six or more hours of preparation and homework each week 

Learn tips and time management skills for distance-enhanced classes.


Distance learning courses are conducted 100% online.

Distance-Learning Course 

Offered completely online with no in-person components  

For a 3-credit hour semester class, you can expect: 

  • On average, three hours per week of instructional activity and interaction is conducted online (may include online recorded lectures, readings, videos, or online activities) 

  • Zero hours of required time on campus (including for exams)—no campus location will appear on the class schedule 

  • An average of six or more hours of preparation and homework each week 

Learn tips and time management skills for distance-learning classes. 
 

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Online Courses 

You may also come across the terms synchronous and asynchronous in reference to online courses. These terms differentiate between classes that require weekly attendance at a live class session and those that do not. Review the explanations below for more information. 

Venn diagram of Synchronous vs. asynchronous courses
*The majority of our programs have no on-campus requirements. Please see your specific program's page for state authorization information.

Synchronous online courses require you to virtually attend a class session each week at the same time as your instructor and classmates. The class is a firm weekly time commitment that cannot be rescheduled, just like an in-person course.  

Asynchronous online courses allow you to learn on your own schedule within a certain timeframe. You can usually access and complete lectures, readings, homework and other learning materials at any time during a one- or two-week period, prior to established deadlines. 

Ready to learn more? Discover strategies to succeed in each format and take this brief quiz to learn what tools you’ll need to be a successful online learner.  
 



Asynchronous online classes: Complete work each week on your schedule, receive immediate feedback on quizzes, schedule group work when it's convenient for everyone.
Synchronous online classes: Attend class virtually each week with instructors and classmates, participate in real-time discussions during class time, improve presentation skills.
Both: Attend class from anywhere*, communicate regularly with instructors, network and make connections with classmates.
*The majority of our programs have no on-campus requirements. Please see your specific program's page for state authorization information.