Last updated: 9/15/20

There’s no doubt that the Autumn 2020 semester looks different than you expected. But no matter where you’re physically located, Ohio State is committed to its mission to educate the whole person. This site will guide you to the right tools and tips to help you be successful both in and out of class.

Understanding class delivery mode labels

The format of some of your classes may be a bit different this semester. Learn the definitions of the four delivery modes: in-person, hybrid, distance-enhanced, and distance learning. For more information visit the Office of the University Registrar's site.

Distance enhanced courses typically contain 0-24% online instruction and 75-100% in-person instruction.

In-Person Course

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

For a 3-credit semester class, students can expect:

  • Scheduled classroom time on campus each week, usually totaling just under 3 hours (includes classes broadcast live to regional campus classrooms)
  • Possibly some of instruction and interaction online
  • An average of 6 or more hours of preparation and homework each week

Hybrid courses typically contain 25-74% in-person instruction and 25-74% online instruction

Hybrid Course

A combination of in-person instruction and online instruction

For a 3-credit semester course, students can expect:

  • Instruction time equal to a 3-credit 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 6 or more hours of preparation and homework each week

Distance enchanced courses typically contain 1-24% in-person instruction and 75-99% online instruction

Distance-Enhanced Course

Primarily offers online instruction but is enhanced by some in-person events

For a 3-credit semester class, students 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 6 or more hours of preparation and homework each week

Distance Learning courses contain 100% online instruction

Distance Learning Course

Offered completely online with no in-person components

For a 3-credit semester class, students can expect:

  • No campus location will appear on the class schedule.
  • 0 hours of required time on campus (including for exams)
  • 3 hours per week, on average, of instructional activity and interaction conducted online
  • An average of 6 or more hours of preparation and homework each week


Take this brief quiz to learn what tools you need to be a successful online learner.

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Online Courses

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

Asynchronous online learning: complete work each week on your own schedule, often receive immediate feedback on quizzes and assignments, 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: communicate regularly with instructors, network and make connections with classmates, improve time management and organizational skills.