What is the difference between an online and a live online class?

Thursday, December 3, 2020
Online Learning


With the start of Spring Semester 2021 just around the corner, you’ve heard or read about classes being taught online or live online. What’s the difference between them?

What does online mean?

Think of an online class as learning on your own time. Your instructor will share lessons in Canvas for you. These might be video lessons explaining a topic. It could be a writing assignment with a deadline. 

Either way, you decide when to work on your classwork around your schedule. Want to burn the midnight oil to do your classwork? Feel better setting aside one day a week to tackle all of your projects? You get to work when it works for you. 

Just don’t forget to turn your work in on time!

What does live online mean?

Classes with this format meet at a regularly scheduled time online. You can interact live with your instructor and classmates as you all work together at the same time and same days. You complete homework assignments outside of this dedicated class time, just like in-person classes. Much like in-person classes, attendance will be taken so you'll need to log in and attend every scheduled class time.

With this option, you continue to have class experiences like lectures and class discussions.

No matter which modality your courses employ, it’s hard to dig into your class while on a tiny phone screen! We recommend a laptop, a strong wifi signal and a camera to ace your upcoming semester. 

We’ve got your online resources!

No matter the format, we have resources to help make your experience the best it can be. Here are just a few:

Technology support - Our technology services team can assist you with your homework, answer your technology questions about programs such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, Canvas, MyITLab and more. 

Tutoring support - The Learning Center can help with tutoring in math, science and writing as well as limited support on other courses. 

Library - The 24/7 service Ask a Librarian can help you with research no matter the day or time!

Access your courses - Use the helpful Canvas app (login with your MEID) to see all of your course requirements, syllabi, lessons, tests and quizzes. 

Still unsure? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help!