Hybrid and Distance Learning
Course Delivery Methods
Courses may be delivered in a variety of modalities, from a traditional classroom setting (also referred to as face-to-face) to a fully online format, with many combinations in-between. The choice of delivery method is the purview of the college and department administration in collaboration with the faculty.
The purpose of this webpage is to provide definitions for Distance Learning and Hybrid courses and to provide guidelines that assist faculty and course schedulers in properly identifying and coding course delivery method.
Instructors may visit CIRT's Best Practices: Course Delivery for information about planning activities and contact time for various instructional modalities.
Definitions: Hybrid and Distance Learning
In a Fully Online* course, 100% of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time, space, or both. All special course components (exams, internships, practica, clinicals, labs, etc.) that cannot be completed online can be completed off-campus.
In a Primarily Online* course, 80-99% of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time, space, or both. There is a requirement for the student to attend campus or another explicit geographic location for a portion of the course.
In a Hybrid* course, 50-79% of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time, space, or both. There is a requirement for the student to attend campus or another explicit geographic location for a portion of the course.
Blendflex is a variation of Distance Learning. In this emerging course delivery method, students select their attendance modality on a class to class basis. Students can choose to attend class sessions in the classroom or online, either synchronously or asynchronously. Classes in Blendflex mode provide students with the flexibility and convenience of attendance that best meets their needs during any given point within an academic term. Blendflex courses require extensive Telepresence and Learning Management System (LMS) support, and are categorized as Primarily Online and assessed the Distance Learning Fee.
*From the State University System (SUS) of Florida 2025 SUS Strategic Plan for Online Education.
Scheduling: Credit Hours and Contact Minutes
The definition of the credit hour for a traditional course is articulated in Academic Affairs policy 2.0810P.
For the purposes of course scheduling, a credit hour is represented in terms of contact minutes or contact hours, and direct instruction is operationalized as scheduled classroom contact.
The amount of traditional (face-to-face) scheduled classroom contact determines the appropriate course delivery method designation and how courses should be coded in the course schedule.
This table can be used to assist faculty and course schedulers in determining the appropriate delivery method designation of a course. The table applies to lecture, discussion, and seminar classes, but not to lab classes.
Identifying Course Delivery Method by Scheduled Contact Hours
|Number of Credit Hours
< 20% required
in person meetings
20% - 50% required
in person meetings
> 50% required
in person meetings
1 credit hour
750 mins (12.5 hours)
|All instruction occurs online with no required in person meetings.
||< 3 hours
||3 - 7 hours
||> 7 hours
2 credit hours
1500 mins (25 hours)
|< 5 hours
||5 - 13 hours
||> 13 hours
3 credit hours
2250 mins (37.5 hours)
|< 8 hours
||8 - 20 hours
||> 20 hours
4 credit hours
3000 mins (50 hours)
||11 - 27 hours
||> 27 hours