Looking in a classroom with two professors at the front of the class

Course Modalities

What you can expect in the classroom


Undergraduate student at her laptop in a classroom

The Carlson School of Management offers teaching and learning modalities that maximize flexibility, accessibility, and, most importantly, quality. All students regardless of the learning modality (delivery method) will achieve the same learning objectives.

Students can check their class schedules and see the format of each of their classes. Use the guide below to familiarize yourself with the various ways classes are offered at the Carlson School.

What is asynchronous vs. synchronous?
You may come across the terms “asynchronous” and “synchronous." But what does that mean? In the simplest terms:

Asynchronous: Courses are taught online with students participating at their own time and these courses do not include a live video lecture component. Students have the flexibility to complete all assignments, quizzes/tests, projects, and discussions within a set period each week.

Synchronous: Courses are taught online in real-time via video conferencing (e.g. Zoom). Students will be required to participate at the same time as their instructor and classmates from either their home, a remote location, or on campus.

What course types/class modalities are at the Carlson School?

The Carlson School offers courses in several delivery modalities. These include in-person (face-to-face), online, and blended learning (a combination of face-to-face and online). Below are the various course delivery modalities students can expect to see in their class schedule:

Maroon and gold illustration of in-person learning at the Carlson School

An in-person class is the classroom experience we all know. Faculty and students are both in the classroom for the majority of the class meetings, with appropriate physical distancing. All students and instructors are in the same physical space on campus. Course material is offered in traditional formats.


  • It’s familiar
  • Requires minimal mastery of new technology
  • Allows you considerable flexibility inside the classroom
Maroon and gold illustration of online learning at the Carlson School

Online courses are delivered in an asynchronous communication format, where instructors usually do not provide live instruction and students can manage their own schedule to ensure they meet deadlines. Courses are delivered online in Canvas, including teacher interactions, lessons, and assignments.


  • The most flexible format in terms of scheduling for students
  • Students have more time to reflect when working and writing online than when responding in class.
  • Students can re-watch recorded lectures, spend more time on practice exercises, re-read peer discussion comments, and take the time they need to successfully complete assignments within the semester.


Maroon and gold illustration of remote learning at the Carlson School

A remote class is when a face-to-face class cannot be delivered in a traditional classroom. It is delivered online through Canvas with scheduled class times via Zoom. Exams are also all online. Remote instruction is delivered in a synchronous manner.


  • Continue real-class experiences online, such as lectures, small group work, etc.
  • Offers in-person feel with less travel
Maroon and gold illustration of hybrid learning at the Carlson School

A course with some in-person, on-campus class meetings, and some online elements. You might have to come to class in person sometimes, but not all the time. When you aren’t physically in the classroom, you utilize Zoom and complete your assignments online.


  • Combines the best of face-to-face and online environments
  • A high degree of flexibility for students
Maroon and gold illustration of HyFlex learning at the Carlson School

HyFlex classes provide students the freedom to flex between a synchronous online and in-person experience throughout their program to match how they best learn. Students are free to choose the delivery model that fits their learning style and schedule. 


  • Combines the best of face-to-face and online environments
  • Students are able to customize their education to fit their needs, whether they need a more hands-on, in-person approach or thrive in an online environment where they work more independently

Let’s take a deeper look at HyFlex

Select programs at the Carlson School now offer classes in a HyFlex model, allowing students to take more control over their classes and the journey of obtaining their degree. HyFlex classes will be taught on campus and in person, with optional synchronous online participation for students wishing to join remotely. 

Understanding Your Course Schedule and Schedule Options

  • You can participate in face-to-face synchronous class sessions in person (in a classroom)
  • You can participate in face-to-face synchronous class sessions via video conference (e.g. Zoom)


Modality Matrix

ModalityAssigned Room on CampusSynchronous or AsynchronousTechnology
OnlineNoSynchronous and/or Asynchronous - depends on the programZoom, Canvas
RemoteNoSynchronousZoom, Canvas
HybridYesSynchronous and/or Asynchronous - depends on the programZoom, Canvas
HyFlexYesSynchronousZoom, Canvas

Do you have questions about your courses or instructional modalities? Reach out to your program contact, academic advisor, or admissions contact directly. They’re here to help.