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Online Courses

Course Formats

The structure of online courses varies widely. The format of course materials, how you access them, and ways you communicate with your professor and classmates will vary from course to course. 

Many online courses at UofSC are hosted using a virtual platform such as Adobe Connect or Blackboard, or both. The virtual platform, which makes the session live or synchronous, allows you to observe class-level audio and visual materials in real-time.

The Online Learning Experience

Like a traditional university classroom, online learning offers a rich, interactive learning experience that often includes virtual office hours for your instructor. Instruction may be delivered at one time and received at another (asynchronous) or delivered and received at the same time (synchronous). Many courses facilitate interaction among fellow classmates using discussion boards, live chat, blogs, wikis and virtual groups. 


Course Formats

100% Online

Instruction is provided using only internet components.


Instruction is provided in a combination of traditional face-to-face and online delivery.

Web Conferencing

Instruction is provided using Adobe Connect virtual platform and, in some cases, Blackboard. This method requires access to a high-speed internet connection and may require attendance in class sessions on scheduled days or times either in-person on the Columbia Campus or online and may require exam administration at an approved testing site on the Columbia Campus, off-campus or online via remote proctor.

Streaming Video

Instruction is provided through videos that are streamed and recorded; these videos may be viewed live or at a later time. This method may require attendance in class sessions at scheduled days or times in-person on the Columbia Campus. Students may also be required to take examinations at approved testing sites or USC Columbia.

Two-way delivery

Instruction is provided by a faculty member teaching live in a classroom with students present locally and in remote locations (other campuses, at home, etc.). Lectures are streamed through either a one-way or two-way camera system and may or may not be recorded for viewing later. A two-way system allows for faculty and students to interact during the live class period.




Special Fee Notification

Students may be required to be proctored during online test completion.  If students are unable to attend test proctoring sessions in person at the Distributed Learning office, additional fees may apply for online test proctoring if the course requires online testing. 

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