Aurora University

Course Modalities

Credit Hour Policy 

Each semester hour assigned to a course at Aurora University corresponds to a minimum of 50 minutes of instructional time each week over a 15-week semester, including finals week, or the equivalent amount of total instructional time per credit hour over a condensed amount of time (a three, five, eight or ten-week term). Students are also expected to do 2-3 hours of outside work (including assignments or studying) for every one semester hour of in-class time.  

Aurora University expects that the total amount of classroom time and out-of-class student work at both the undergraduate and graduate level will adhere to this credit hour policy.  At the same time, the institution sanctions greater flexibility in the relationship between classroom time and out-of-class student work in graduate courses. 

For non-traditional courses that are in an alternative delivery format (laboratory work, studio work, practica, clinical, field, and internships, etc.) a semester hour corresponds to the appropriate mix of instructional contact, directed activities, and student work that equate to the sum of the in-class and outside time for a semester hour in a traditional course.  These alternative delivery format courses may incorporate some or all of the anticipated 2-3 hours of outside work expected for a traditional course as planned instructional time, thus reducing the expectation of additional out of class time.  For both traditional and alternative delivery courses, these expectations should be outlined in the course syllabus. 

This credit hour policy is applied to all course locations and modalities under the supervision of the university President, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and Graduate Affairs Committee.   

Course Modalities 

Three course modalities are recognized at Aurora University:  campus-based synchronous courses/experiences, remote synchronous courses/experiences, and online asynchronous courses/experiences. 

Synchronous modalities may include online components aiming to enhance learning or substitute for synchronous interactions between instructors and students (reduction in seat time). 

Campus-based synchronous courses/experiences:  traditional type of courses where all or most of the class meetings take place in a classroom during an established schedule.  

Web-Enhanced - A small percent (reduction in seat time less than 25%) of the course delivery and/or interactions between instructor and students may occur online, meaning that web-based tools and/or web-based activities (e.g., online quizzes, online videos) are used to supplement the course. A web-based component that enhances a course does not necessarily reduce synchronous interactions.  

Hybrid courses - involve online components that reduce seat time by 25-74%. These online components substitute the traditional synchronous meetings. Hybrid courses should be clearly identified in the course schedule so students are fully aware as they register for a hybrid course. Likewise, the synchronous class meetings, rooms and times should be clearly specified in the course schedule and course syllabus. Courses may be delivered in a hybrid format upon formal written approval by the relevant academic dean.  

Remote synchronous courses/experiences: traditional type of courses where all or most of the class meetings take place via the internet during an established synchronous schedule.  

Web-Enhanced - A small percent (reduction in seat time less than 25%) of the course delivery and/or interactions between instructor and students may occur online, meaning that web-based tools and/or web-based activities (e.g., online quizzes, online videos) are used to supplement the course. A web-based component that enhances a course does not necessarily reduce synchronous interactions.  

Hybrid courses - involve online components that reduce seat time by 25-74%. These online components substitute the traditional synchronous meetings. Hybrid courses should be clearly identified in the course schedule so students are fully aware as they register for a hybrid course. Likewise, the synchronous class meetings, rooms and times should be clearly specified in the course schedule and course syllabus. Courses may be delivered in a hybrid format upon formal written approval by the relevant academic dean.  

Online asynchronous courses/experiences: Online courses at Aurora University are fully delivered online with the exception of required fieldwork, internship, and clinical requirements, which must take place at approved sites. All asynchronous online courses provide students with routine, scheduled synchronous opportunities for engagement with faculty and other students.