Common Class Modalities in Fall 2020-Spring 2021

MODALITY refers to the way in which something is done or a medium.  In 2020-21, you may have classes that use a number of different modalities.  This may make your schedule look a bit more complicated than usual. VSU classes for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 will be offered in a number of modalities, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Traditional Face-to-Face (F2F): Face-to-face classes generally have the following:
    • a scheduled meeting place and
    • a scheduled time and day(s) of the week.

However, even in F2F classes, the rooms may be configured differently. All VSU classrooms have been arranged to allow for required social distancing with 6 feet spacing between students and between the instructor and students.  Please follow the directions in your classroom and sit in an appropriately designated seat.

  • Hy-Flex (Hybrid-Flexible): Because of the need for social distancing, classrooms may not be able to seat the usual number of students; therefore, for some classes, you may have to be divided into groups with some students attending F2F on designated days while other students participate remotely. However, these classes will have the following:
    • a scheduled meeting place (with some students in the classroom and some participating remotely from another location) and
    • a scheduled time and day(s) of the week.

To participate remotely, students will use their computer/laptop/mobile devices and VSU-supported video conferencing software (either Blackboard Collaborate Ultra in BlazeVIEW or Microsoft Teams).

For example, in a class that is scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday (TR), half the class may attend F2F on Tuesday and then participate remotely on Thursday (and vice versa).  Everyone will still attend class regularly on the designated schedule, but your location may vary. Please watch for emails from your instructor, who will let you know if the class is to be divided in this way.

  • Hybrid: In some classes that need to be divided, the students may still be attending on different days but other activities will occur asynchronously online via BlazeVIEW, which is the VSU-supported online learning management system. Therefore, this class will still have the following:
    • a scheduled meeting place, and
    • a scheduled time and day(s) of the week.

For example, you might attend a class on Tuesday and then have an online assignment on BlazeVIEW for Thursday. In some classes, lectures will be delivered online asynchronously, with class times designated for discussions and other activities. Please watch for emails from your instructor, who will let you know your class schedule.

  • Online: When you signed up for the class, it was labeled “I” (Internet), and it generally does not indicate any scheduled place to meet

If it was not indicated on your schedule, some online classes have no scheduled meeting times, but some may have scheduled times, so please check your schedule carefully.

In fully online classes, all the instruction will be offered online via BlazeVIEW and other VSU supported software.  Some online classes are offered synchronously, with all students participating online at specific times, such as video conferencing through Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or Microsoft Teams. However, many online classes are conducted asynchronously just through BlazeVIEW.  However, even if a class is offered asynchronously, you will still have assignments and other work due at particular times or dates.

The class modality may still change before the first day of class, so please check Banner and your email before you go to a class.

What does synchronous versus asynchronous mean?

  • Synchronous means “at the same time.” F2F classes have always met synchronously (i.e., you are scheduled to meet at the same time and place—Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9-9:50 am in the same room). F2F, Hy-Flex, and Hybrid classes will always have regular meeting times, whether or not you are scheduled to be in the classroom. Some online classes may have some scheduled times to meet in the online environment.
  • Asynchronous means “NOT as the same time.” Fully online classes often do not have regular dates or meeting times, although some may have synchronous components.  However, instructors will still have assignments due at specific times, and they will also hold office hours via video conference if you have questions or need to consult with them.

What is BlazeVIEW?

  • BlazeVIEW is VSU’s online learning management system. BlazeVIEW is used for F2F, Hy-Flex, Hybrid, and fully Online courses, since it includes tools and functions for synchronous and asynchronous learning. BlazeVIEW works on computers and laptops; there is also a free mobile app for BlazeVIEW called Brightspace Pulse.