Classes at CSUSM may be offered in a variety of modes of instruction, including in-person, online, or a hybrid (a combination of both in-person and online). Below is information to help you understand the types of formats, how to identify them in the schedule.
All information about the instruction mode and format is included in the class details. These can be found in different places, depending on whether you are enrolled yet.
You can also find a quick definition for each type of instruction mode in the Definitions of Instruction Modes/Formats section.
Click on Weekly Schedule
Click on the Section Number
Class information will be listed in the Class Notes section and Meeting Information section
You can review full class descriptions, which include the instruction mode, dates and times and more, before enrolling. For more information on strategies for being successful in each type of class, please visit the Keep Learning page.
To locate the full class description for each class, click on View in one of the generated schedules you would like to enroll in.
Then, click on the information icon (the letter i) in each course to see the instruction mode and full description of the class.
In the full description of the class, you will see:
When generating class schedules in Schedule Assistant, you can filter for certain instruction modes at the top of the page. Please keep in mind that not all courses will be offered in all instruction modes, so you may want to adjust the filters and keep searching!
Below are definitions for understanding the three instruction modes (in-person, online, and hybrid) and their respective formats, as well as examples of what these look like in the class description.
You know this one! Come to class at the designated meeting times and location, as indicated on the class schedule.
Synchronous classes have specific meeting times, similar to an in-person class. In other words, classes take place in real time with the instructor and students interacting at the same time - they are just virtual instead of in-person. Using technology such as video conferencing, real-time chat, or virtual environments, students are able to engage in learning activities such as lectures, discussions or activities. In order to facilitate these lessons, students in the course need to be available at the time designated by the instructor/institution. Final Exam: If the course has a final, then a 2-hour final exam will be scheduled during finals week.
Asynchronous classes do not have specific meeting times, though there are specific deadlines for assignments, quizzes, etc. This format offers more independence and flexibility because it provides students freedom of time and distance. Learning can take place independently, within smaller groups, or with the whole class, but those interactions happen in a more structured environment. Final Exam: If the course has a final, then a final exam will be available for 24 hours during finals week.
Blended Synchronous and Asynchronous classes have some dates where the class takes place in real time with the instructor and students interacting at the same time and some of the instruction takes place independently – the proportion of each instructional type will be determined by the instructor. You can view the specific times by opening the class section in the class schedule. Final Exam: If the course has a final, then a 2-hour final exam will be scheduled during finals week.
If you enroll in a class that has a Hybrid or Live & Online format, plan to come to campus!
Hybrid classes have a blend of face-to-face on-campus portions of the class with a virtual component, either synchronous or asynchronous. Students and faculty will meet face-to-face on scheduled days and engage in virtual learning on non-campus days. All synchronous components will be built into the class schedule, whether on-campus or virtual, even if only a single session is scheduled on-campus (e.g., a midterm or final exam).
Please note that given the ever-changing nature of safety guidelines, students must be prepared for fluidity in planning for this modality. Social distancing and other safety measures may impact the way you normally interact with other students and faculty in the classroom. These may include classroom capacity, distancing, and mask-requirements.
Live & Online instruction is a face-to-face course with a group of students in the classroom and another group streaming the class sessions live. The distinguishing feature of Live and Online classes is that all students are ‘attending’ class at the same time. The size of the on-campus group will depend on room capacity as set per safety guidelines and could change if safety guidelines change.
Instructors have some flexibility as to which group of students is on campus on any given day and will decide which student group will be on campus and which group will be viewing the class synchronously online.
Please note that given the ever-changing nature of safety guidelines, students must be prepared for fluidity in planning for this modality. Students must be aware that taking this class will necessitate students initially plan to come to campus every week, until otherwise notified by the faculty. Social distancing and other safety measures may impact the way you normally interact with other students and faculty in the classroom. These may include classroom capacity, distancing, and mask-requirements.
Most course material for online classes is available to students in Cougar Courses. After you have officially enrolled in a course, wait 24 hours, and then check for your course in Cougar Courses. Please note your course will only be listed if your professor has made the course visible to student view.