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Course Modalities

course modalities include on campus, online options as well as several combinations.

What is a course modality? Course modality refers to the mode of delivery, or the format by which a course is offered by the instructor.

Historically, on-campus instruction was the primary course modality for college instruction. With the emergence of distance education and online learning coupled to improvements and widespread use of educational technology to facilitate both synchronous and asynchronous classrooms, however, we have seen an expansion of course modality types offered to students.

At UIC, there are several different course modalities from which you may choose to offer your course. It is critical for students to have a clear understanding of two key features of your course at the time they register for classes; this information is communicated to students through your selection of the appropriate course modality and its subsequent publication by the registrar in the UIC course catalog.

  • Does your course require students to be physically present on campus at specific times?
  • Does your course require students to attend online class sessions at specific times?



Please note that your department may have particular course modalities that are preferred, discouraged, or limited. Be sure to discuss your preferred course modality with your department head or program director before scheduling your course with the UIC registrar.

Also in your syllabus, be sure to provide a detailed statement summarizing how your course will be delivered to students.


By clicking on the links to each course modality listed below, for each you’ll find a detailed summary, key considerations or tips for optimizing the learning experience for students, and educational technology tools and resources to support this mode of delivery.

These course modality descriptions are consistent with the glossary of terms used to categorize courses on the UIC Registrar’s website.
Please note that in UIC’s schedule of classes, the codes for each course modality appear under the heading “Instructional Method.”


When considering the course modality in which you’d like to offer your course, first reflect on the following questions:

  1. What educational technology and Blackboard features will you need to support student success in the selected course modality?
  2. What evidence-based or research-informed learning activities will you use in the selected course modality?
  3. How will you increase interactions among peers and between students and the instructor with the selected course modality?
  4. How will you provide flexibility and support student accessibility in the selected course modality?

CATE offers resources and programming to help UIC instructors implement learning experiences that engage students actively during class time, no matter the location of the student, whether online or in-person. CATE is committed to helping instructors design equitable learning experiences for all students.


  • Courses are learner-centered and offer students flexible options to participate fully in the course.
  • Content and discussion activities are created with accessibility, equity, and inclusion in mind.
  • Courses enable learning experiences that engage students in evidence-based learning activities in on campus, online, and hybrid modalities.
  • Students are equipped with the required technology as well as the technical skills needed to access and equitably participate in a course.