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Course Modality Definitions

We’ve collected these definitions for those faculty who are interested in specifying aspects of their pedagogy to students, particularly in advertised course descriptions, syllabus descriptions, and Folio News Posts. We hope this will help move us toward using these terms more consistently across campus.


Courses delivered with the students and the professor physically present. This may include site synchronous courses, where students and the professor participate in a scheduled class meeting from physical locations on two or more campuses. Face-to-face courses should be technology-enhanced, meaning they will make use of tools on Folio.

Flipped Learning 

According to the Flipped Learning Network, “Flipped learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual space” (such as students watching lectures outside of the classroom), “and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.” 

Online: Asynchronous 

Courses delivered online without scheduled meeting days and times. Students will participate in a variety of online activities but will not be required to be present at a particular day and time.

Online: Synchronous

Courses delivered online with scheduled meeting days and times. Students will be required to be present via technology at a particular day and time in addition to completing online activities as homework. 

Site Synchronous

In Site Synchronous sections, students and the professor participate in a scheduled meeting from two or more campuses simultaneously (with the aid of technology). Site synchronous sections might consist of either all sessions scheduled with the professor in-person on one campus or with the professor alternating campuses. 

Site Synchronous sections might also be Hybrid sections, which combine sessions where the students and the professor participate in a scheduled meeting from two or more campuses simultaneously with online activities (for example, a MWF site synchronous class might have the professor in Savannah on Monday and in Statesboro on Wednesday, with students in their respective classrooms, with online activities for the Friday session).


According to the University System of Georgia, Hybrid courses combine online and face-to-face learning activities. According to Jay Caulfield’s How to Design and Teach a Hybrid Course, Hybrid courses reduce “face time” in the traditional classroom with learning outside of the traditional classroom, either in an online environment or in experiential learning. 


The HyFlex approach, according to the article, “7 Things You Should Know About the HyFlex Course Model” by Natalie Milman et al, “combines face-to-face (F2F) and online learning. Each class session and learning activity is offered in-person, synchronously online, and asynchronously online. Students decide how to participate.” In theory, one student in the class could attend every session face-to-face, while another student completes the course entirely at a distance, and another student could mix face-to-face, synchronous online, and asynchronous online activities throughout the semester. Students must have a choice of how to engage in the course every day for a class to be a HyFlex class.


Last updated: 9/1/2022