About Modes of Instruction

What is the difference between Distance Learning and Online?

The following are definitions for the terms “online”, “hybrid/blended”, and “in person” modes of delivery at UConn (These are listed as Instruction Mode in Student Administration).  These terms are now used in Student Administration to distinguish whether student contact hours occur in person, online, or in a combination of the two.

When discussing modes of delivery, it is helpful to understand UConn’s policy on Credit Hours. The examples referenced below assume a 3 credit course. For an in person course, this would equate to 3 hours a week or 42 hours total of in-class, direct instruction contact hours over the semester.

Please check the Provost’s site for most recent definitions (Click)

Spring 2021 course modalities:


Online (WW) - These classes never meet in person, nor are you expected to be available at any particular time for classroom instruction. These courses are taught asynchronously with no pre-assigned meeting times. Students will have access to class materials online using HuskyCT. If you plan to offer any required synchronous exams, you must share this with the Registrar by Oct. 26. This will allow the Registrar to include that information in the notes in PeopleSoft, so students who are potentially enrolling in your course can be aware of any potential conflicts with the rest of their schedule and other obligations.


Distance Learning (DL) – These classes never meet in person, but you are expected to deliver instruction synchronously at the times for which the class is scheduled. You can also decide to replace some synchronous instruction with asynchronous instruction. Students will participate online using WebEx, Blackboard Collaborate, or Microsoft Teams. As a default, DL will not include a classroom assignment, but one can be requested if the instructor would like to teach from a campus classroom; a classroom for DL will be considered based on availability with preference given to courses with an in-person component.


Hybrid/Blended (HB) – These classes have both in-person and online components. Classes will not meet in person for all scheduled meetings. At least 25% of mandatory instruction for the class will occur in person.


Hybrid/Blended Reduced Seat Time (HR) – These classes have both in-person and online components. Classes will not meet in-person for all scheduled meetings. Less than 25% of mandatory instruction for the class will occur in person


Split (SP) - These classes will meet during all scheduled class times. However, groups of students in the class will alternate in-person and virtual attendance as designated by the instructor to maintain reduced density in classrooms.


In-Person (P) - These classes will meet in person during all scheduled class times.


Service Learning (SL) – This mode indicates a service learning class, with instruction times and locations to be determined by the instructor.


By Arrangement (AR) – These are meant for clinical placements, field placements, independent study, internships, and research hours. They do not require a classroom or meeting time but are considered to be in person.