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What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous courses?

Synchronous courses are online courses offered in real-times where the instructor and students meet via web conferencing tools. These classes occur at scheduled days and times and students are expected to attend class at these times.

Asynchronous courses are online classes that are not conducted live and do not have a regularly scheduled class time. While there is a scheduled time associated with the course for registration, students can move through course material on their own schedule. Students are still expected to remain up to date with the deadlines and due dates provided by the instructor.

Blended courses are online courses where there is a mixture of synchronous meetings and asynchronous activities. This means students need to be prepared to meet some of the time online via web conferencing tools at scheduled days and times.

In all cases, courses are posted with a scheduled time (Eastern Standard Time) associated. Asynchronous and blended courses may use the time slot for class discussion, office hours, tests or midterms, etc. Students are expected to be available during those times.

For more information on time and equipment requirements for online courses, please visit the Types of Online Courses webpage.