Delivery Mode

Selecting a Delivery Mode

What’s on This Page

Selecting a delivery mode for your course/program can be a complex part of the early planning stages. There are many things for faculty and instructors, administrators, and stakeholders to consider, and lots of questions about how best to meet the learning needs of your students. The resources on this page will help facilitate that process.

Summary of delivery modes. Icons from Icons8.

The Delivery Mode Screening Tool

This questionnaire is designed to help you decide the delivery mode for a program or course.

It should take about 10 minutes to complete. You will be asked a series of questions relating to student demographics, teaching approaches, educator resources, and physical infrastructure. When you are finished, you will be provided with a ranked list of delivery modes that fit with your answers, and personalized feedback related to the choices you have made. If you wish to, you can save your results as a PDF document.

Note that this tool is not meant to be prescriptive or to give you definitive answers for your course/program! Rather, it is meant to highlight points of consideration and guide further discussion amongst stakeholders and decision-makers.

Click to access the Delivery Mode Screening Tool


Delivery Mode Terminology

Terminology related to delivery modes can be confusing, and often varies from instutition to institution. Review the following glossary to understand how USask uses these terms, and how they are used in the Delivery Mode Screening Tool.

Fully In Person

An in-person class where the entire or significant majority of the class occurs with students and instructors interacting physically, together in one location.

Learning is likely supplemented by the use of online tools for communication, sharing materials, or grading (e.g., Canvas).

Online learning replaces some in person learning, as the instructor teaches a portion of the instructional hours face to face and the remaining instructional hours online, in either a synchronous or asynchronous manner (e.g., Canvas).

Indicates two cohorts (or sections) of learners who will be taught jointly and concurrently:

    1. Fully In Person cohort, which gathers in the same location as the instructor, and completes 100% of their instructional hours in-person.
    2. Web, Synchronous cohort, which joins remotely from the study locations of their choosing, and completes 100% of their instructional hours via web-conferencing (e.g., Zoom).

In some special arrangements of hybrid learning, there may also be an Off-site cohort. This cohort of learners would gather in a second or satellite location (e.g., in a classroom at a regional college) and they join remotely via one connection to complete 100% of their instructional hours via web-conferencing (e.g., Zoom). For this type of cohort, there would be an in-class TA or proctor providing technical and teaching support.

Web, Synchronous

A fully online class, “synchronous” indicates the instructional hours occur ‘live’, with the cohort primarily meeting together at the same time in a virtual space (e.g., Zoom).

There may be some asynchronous learning time as well, and the proportion of synchronous to asynchronous learning can vary (e.g., 80% of instructional hours synchronous, and 20% asynchronous).

Web, Asynchronous

A fully online class, “asynchronous” indicates 100% of the instructional hours are undertaken by the student on their own schedule, so that the cohort learns on their own time in the same virtual space (e.g., Canvas).

There may be some non-required synchronous learning time as well, but it should only be used in an optional way where attendance is not mandatory (e.g., a drop-in review session via Zoom, recorded and posted for learners who cannot attend the live session).

There may also be group or project work that necessitate students arranging their own synchronous group meetings, but these would be arranged by group members and not scheduled by the instructor.

Note: Definitions are based on those in the USask Governance Office’s Academic and Curricular Nomenclature policy.