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Understanding Your Course Schedule

To provide students and faculty with an engaging and safe academic experience, WVU has designed a number of changes.

With the many changes leading up to the fall, we understand that some students may feel uncertain about their course schedule. The following are examples of the types of courses a student may encounter this fall.

What is a “synchronous” online course?

A “synchronous” course refers to an online course with elements that are conducted in real time. No campus visits are required. Students will log in and join at scheduled times to explore content with the instructor, participate in class discussions, conduct group work activities, and/or complete assessments together (or “in sync”). Much like a face-to-face course, a synchronous online course includes significant structure, deadlines and course learning outcomes that must be met in a set period of time as outlined on the course syllabus. These courses also include substantive instructor-initiated interaction with and among the students.

Synchronous online courses include live delivery and communications, which may happen using tools such as Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate. Students should prepare for these sessions by finishing any assigned readings, compiling questions they have for the instructor, and thinking about how they might be able to contribute to the next live session. Students may be asked to participate in video sharing, chat conversations, live polling and/or interactive whiteboard sessions to engage them in the learning experience.

On your WVU course schedule, a synchronous online course will likely show:

  • Meeting days and times (these are the times you are expected to be present)
  • Campus and building location as “Online”

The following is an example of what a synchronous online course might look like.

Screenshot of what a synchronous online course

What is a hybrid course and how will I know if my class is hybrid?

A hybrid course is one that includes both face-to-face and online (synchronous or asynchronous) elements. It is up to the instructor how to manage and deliver a hybrid course. For instance, half of the students may report to campus on Tuesdays, while the other half may participate through online activities. On Thursday, the groups may trade places (with half of the students on campus and half online).

Since hybrid courses are a combination of face-to-face and online delivery, students can expect to see a variety of tools utilized. For example, some pre-work may be expected to be completed online (such as watching a pre-recorded video and responding to a discussion post) prior to attending an in-person discussion or problem review session.

At this point in time, the WVU course schedule does not specifically indicate a hybrid course. On your WVU course schedule, a hybrid course will look like a face-to-face course and will likely show:

  • Meeting days and times
  • Building location with an assigned room

The following is an example of what an in-person or hybrid course course might look like.

Screenshot of what an in-person or hybrid course

What is a hybrid-flexible (HyFlex) course and how will I know if my class is HyFlex?

HyFlex course delivery is new to WVU. However, WVU Teaching and Learning Commons has been training faculty and instructors all summer on how to adapt their courses to this delivery. In a HyFlex course, all core class content is available both face-to-face and online, and there are variations in instructional delivery. A Hyflex course may have both synchronous and asynchronous online elements. Students may have the option to attend on campus, online, or a combination of both based on preference. The primary benefit of HyFlex delivery is considered the flexibility to allow students more control over how they participate and complete course requirements.

At this point in time, the WVU course schedule does not specifically indicate a HyFlex course. On your WVU course schedule, a HyFlex course will look like a face-to-face course and will likely show:

  • Meeting days and times
  • Building location with an assigned room

Your instructor will provide specific information about how the course will function and when you are required to report to campus versus online. If the course has a room assignment and the student does not hear differently from the instructor, they should plan on reporting to campus on the first day of class with the appropriate PPE.

Students should continue to monitor their MIX email and eCampus for information and watch for course syllabi to be posted.

The following is an example of what an in-person or hybrid course course might look like.

Screenshot of what an in-person or hybrid course

What is an “asynchronous” online course?

An “asynchronous” course refers to an online course that is conducted without any synchronous (or real time) activities. No campus visits are required. The instructor and students are not required to be logged into the course at the same time. However, this is not a self-paced course. Much like a face-to-face course or synchronous online course, an asynchronous online course includes significant structure, deadlines and course learning outcomes that must be met in a set period of time as outlined on the course syllabus. These courses also include substantive instructor-initiated interaction with and among the students.

In an asynchronous course, students complete blocks of assigned materials at a time of the student’s choosing prior to the established due dates defined within the syllabus. These activities might include watching pre-recorded videos, completing online interactions/simulations, participating in discussion forums based on prompts from the instructor, and/or responding to questions that have been designed by the instructor to check the understanding of key concepts.

On your WVU course schedule, a synchronous online course will likely show:

  • NO meeting days or times (or TBA)
  • Campus and building location as “Online”

The following is an example of what a synchronous online course might look like.

Screenshot of what a asynchronous online course might look like

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