Online Learning Definitions
Definitions of online learning terminology
Online education is referred to in various ways. The two most common ways to categorize online classes are:
- The percentage of in the classroom “seat time” that is replaced with online course work
- A web-enhanced course is a class which has the same frequency and amount of in-person classroom meeting times. Seat time is not replaced but components of the course will be accessible 24/7 through the College's Learning Management System.
- A hybrid course is typically a course where some, but not all, of class meeting times are replaced by course delivery through distance learning, also referred to as “blended,” or “multi-mode” course.
- A fully online (distance education) class is one where all the content (including assignments and exams) are delivered online.
- Whether online (distance learning) work is conducted primarily in an asynchronous or synchronous modality.
- Synchronous delivery is defined where students access content and non-face-to-face course activities occur at regular specific predetermined scheduled times. The scheduled meetings usually take place via a web conferencing system (WebEx).
- Asynchronous delivery is one in which the student accesses and completes instructional material and activities within a scheduled time frame but with no required synchronous meeting times.
Web-enhanced courses meet with the same frequency and amount of in-person classroom meeting times. Seat time is not replaced but components of the course will be accessible 24/7 through the College's Learning Management System (LMS). The amount of online activities will vary depending on the professor and course requirements.
100% of class meeting times are in-person at the scheduled time and location.
Hybrid courses are courses where some, but not all in-person classroom meeting times are replaced by course delivery online. These courses may also be referred to as “blended” or “multi-mode” courses. Designed to take advantage of the best features of face-to-face and online activities.
At least 30% of in-person classroom meeting times are replaced with online course activities. Individual departments may have different guidelines.
Online courses are courses where all content (including assignments and exams) is delivered online. Online course may be synchronous or asynchronous in format. There are no required on-campus sessions. If an online course requires regular synchronous meetings, those times will be noted in the class schedule.
100% of class meeting times are replaced with online course activities. In an online course that comprises both a lecture and a lab section, the lecture including the lab and exams are undertaken solely online.
Guidelines for Credit Hours and Mode of Instruction
The following guidelines come from the New York State Education Department which defines one semester credit hour as at least 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments. 
The following table is meant to serve as a guideline for faculty to determine if their online or hybrid course has an appropriate amount of instruction material. The guidelines are meant to be informative and a reference tool for faculty. Just as in an on-ground course, faculty will not be expected to calculate the amount of time students will spend in their online course.
Number of instructional hours offered relative to credit hours and mode of instruction.
Credit hours 100% Online Instruction Hybrid – At least 30% of Online Instruction
1 750 mins At least 225 mins
2 1,500 mins At least 450 mins
3 2,250 mins* At least 675 mins
4 3,000 mins At least 900 mins
 Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York, Title 8 – Education Department, Chapter II –Regulations of the Commissioner, Subchapter A – Higher and Professional Regulations, Part 50 – General, Section 50.1.
* To fulfill the 2,250 minute requirement, a typical 3 credit hour course meet either three times per week for 50 minutes or two times per week for 75 minutes.