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Class Formats/Instruction Modes

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, and what to know for Fall 2021.

New format for Fall 2021

Live & Online: a new hybrid format where two groups of students are taught at the same time - one group in the classroom and one group participating virtually.

 
 

How do I know what the instruction mode/format is for a class? 

It's all in Schedule Assistant! 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.  

  • Step 1: Generate Schedules

    To locate the full class description for each class, click on View in one of the generated schedules you would like to enroll in. 

    schedule info 1

  • Step 2: View detailed class information

    Then, click on the information icon (the letter i) in each course to see the instruction mode and full description of the class.

    schedule info 2

  • Step 3: Check out instruction mode, times, details

    In the full description of the class, you will see:

    • Instruction Mode (in-person, online or hybrid)
    • Day(s) & Building(s): meeting times and location (if applicable)
    • Notes: additional details regarding the instruction format (as well as other enrollment information)

     

    schedule info 4


 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! 

instruction mode

Definitions of Instruction Modes/Formats 

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. 

Fully In-Person 

You know this one! Come to class at the designated meeting times and location, as indicated on the class schedule.  

inperson class 

Fully Online

  • Synchronous

    • Instruction Mode: Online
    • Specific Meeting Times: Yes

     

    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

    • Instruction Mode: Online
    • Specific Meeting Times: No

     

    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

    • Instruction Mode: Online
    • Specific Meeting Times: Yes

     

    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. 

     blended class



Hybrid (Online & In-Person)

If you enroll in a class that has a Hybrid or Live & Online formatplan to come to campus!  

  • Hybrid

    • Instruction Mode: Hybrid
    • Specific Meeting Times: Yes
    • In-Person: Yes
    • Online: Yes

     

    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. 

    hybrid class

  • Live & Online

    • Instruction Mode: Hybrid
    • Specific Meeting Times: Yes
    • In-Person: Yes
    • Online: Yes

     

    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.  


What should I know about classes with online instruction?  

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.