All instructors vary greatly in how their courses are designed. The chart below will give you a basic idea of some of the differences and similarities between the two types of courses. Blended courses may combine aspects of both.
|Face to Face Course||Online Course|
|Where?||In an assigned classroom on campus||Anywhere you have access to a computer and the Internet|
|When?||Class times are assigned; homework is done outside of class||All work is done at times most convenient to you. Some students prefer the morning, others afternoon, and others in the evening.|
|How are classes conducted?||Classes may consist of lectures, discussions, small group discussion, problem solving or other types of in-class exercises.||Classes and homework merge in online courses. They may consist of reading, viewing, or listening to course content as well as participating in a written class discussion, problem solving, essays, exercises, research, or other projects.|
|Homework||Homework may consist of reading, viewing, or listening to course content as well as participating in a written class discussion, problem solving, essays, exercises, research, or other projects.|
|Time Commitment||3 hours in class plus 3-9 hours of homework = 6-12 hours||6-12 hours for reading, viewing or listening to course content, participating in the discussion forum, and completing the course assignments|
|Deadlines||Homework and assignments have specific due dates||Homework and assignments, and discussions have specific due dates|
|Class Discussions||Instructors pose a question, which some or all students respond to verbally.||Discussions take place in the Sakai discussion forum in writing. Generally instructors pose a question to which all students are required to respond and possibly also to respond to their classmates. A discussion my last several days.|
|Grading||Instructors may grade quizzes, tests, essays, and other assignments||Instructors may grade participation in the discussion forum, quizzes, tests, essays, and other assignments.|
|Will I need to come to campus?||Yes, for all of your classes||Some online classes require proctored exams. If you cannot come to the campus, you will be provided with information to find a proctored test site.|
|How does my instructor get to know me?||Faculty are present in the classroom, have office hours, and may be contacted through email or phone.||Faculty are present in the online discussion forum, may provide personal feedback via email or in response to assignments, may have virtual office hours, and may be available by email, phone, or web conferencing.|
Anna Vaccaro '12Communication Studies
Gender & Women's Studies
"Because of online courses, I was able to finish my degrees despite having limited childcare available to me as a single parent. As a student, I strongly benefited from the way the online format encourages active participation skills. Passivity is not an option in a classroom style that requires you to consistently, meaningfully contribute to the class in order to prove your presence and earn your grade."