Online Learning

In-person and online class sessions

As a student at the University of Illinois, your courses may vary in the modality, or method by which the instructor has chosen to meet for class. A variety of terms may be used to explain the way(s) the course will meet.

Face-to-face (F2F): The course will meet in-person in an assigned space on campus. In a F2F scenario, your instructor may utilize distributed attendance to ensure the maximum number of people in the classroom does not exceed the recommended capacity. Email your instructor if you are unsure if distributed attendance procedures will be used in your course. 

Synchronous: Everyone enrolled in the course will meet at the scheduled class time in Zoom or another online meeting platform.  

Asynchronous: There is no scheduled meeting time and each person is responsible for keeping track of readings and assignments as scheduled for the course. 

Hybrid: A combination of F2F and online learning options may be used for the course. For example, in the case of a lecture-discussion or lecture-lab course, some instructors may utilize an online learning method for the lecture (either syncronous or asynchronous), and have the option to meet F2F for the discussion or lab. 

Hyflex: This form of instruction utilizes all or most available options of blending learning. An instructor who uses a hyflex modality provides students the option to attend F2F, synchronously attend (by way of Zoom), or asynchronously participate by watching the recorded F2F / sychronous session. 

Each course is unique. Read your emails closely, check Course Explorer, and email the instructor or your academic advisor if you have questions. Consider using a semester planning guide (fillable doc) to help you keep track of when courses meet and what modality the course is utilizing during specified times.

NOTE: In any F2F course meeting scenario, arrive early to class, have your Safer Illinois app ready to show to the Wellness Support Associate who will check your COVID-19 status, wear proper face covering, and practice social distancing. It is also recommended that you bring a laptop or phone and ear buds to participate in synchronous, hybrid, or hyflex group breakout activities. Additional information for on-campus and remote students can be found at the University of Illinois COVID-19 website.

Frequently asked questions

I live outside of Urbana-Champaign, and I am coming to campus once per week for class. What should I do to be in compliance with the COVID-19 testing requirements?

In order to be in compliance with the mandatory COVID-19 testing program required of all students with on-campus classes, you must be testing on-campus.

How and when should I quarantine or isolate myself?

The University provides recommendations for when you should quarantine or isolate, including suggestions for what to do when you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive, how to monitor your own health and symptoms, and the number of days to quarantine or isolate. 

What should I do if I test positive?

You will be notified of your twice weekly test results via email through the McKinley Patient Health Portal. You can also see your test results on the Safer Illinois App. If you receive a positive test for COVID-19, it is important to learn more about contact tracing, isolation, courses and absences, and student resources.

How do I verify my absence with my instructors?

Each instructor has an attendance policy that is unique to his, her, or their class. Review the attendance policy described in each course syllabus, and communicate with your instructor. If your instructor asks for a verified absence letter from the Office of the Dean of Students, you can submit a request for an absence letter.

Student success recommendations

Plan to attend the ACES Student Success Workshops offered throughout the semester to help navigate and overcome challenges you may experience. Adopt a growth mindset (Dweck, 2006) and utilize research-supported strategies for success in an online learning environment. 

Hardware, software, and technology resources

Students at the University of Illinois have access to several free software and technology resources. The Technology Loan Program is available for students who need assistance with hardware, software, or other technology to access online courses and complete assignments. Software can be purchased from the Webstore. Find answers to questions about software and services at Illinois Tech Support or email specific support resources.

  • Zoom: Many of your classes may offer a Zoom attendance option to attend class. Zoom is available to all faculty, staff and students. You can access the software from the Illinois Zoom Portal
  • Microsoft Office 365: You have free access to the Microsoft Office 365 software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and more). The software can be downloaded on up to 5 compatible PC or Mac devices. 
  • Adobe Creative Cloud: As a student at the University of Illinois, you can download the Adobe Creative Cloud free of charge. To access this product, (1) complete the free offer on the WebStore, and (2) follow the instructions to sign in and download applications
  • Compass 2g and Moodle: Your courses will also utilize a learning management system (sometimes referred to as a course website). This is where you will find the syllabus, course assignments, and weekly course materials. Professors frequently use Illinois Compass 2g or Moodle for their courses. Regularly check the course LMS (at least three times per week per course) for announcements, reminders, and assignments. 
  • Illinois Exchange Webmail: It is recommended that you check your university email account at least twice a day. Stay organized by creating folders for your emails. Reply within 48 hours if a reply is requested. 
  • Illinois Media Space: This campus media sharing platform gives you access to watch videos specific to your courses, the college and university, research, student life, and many other areas of interest and information. You can login to Illinois Media Space using your university netID and password.
  • Google Apps: You have access to Google Apps through your University of Illinois netID and password. 
  • U of I Box: As a service to faculty and students, the University provides access to the U of I Box account. You can store files, share with peer and professors, and collaborate on projects. 
  • Online Learning Resources: As a University of Illinois student, you have access to LinkedIn Learning and Illinois Coursera. These online learning resource can be used to learn more about specific topics of interest or acquire essential background information for a course or assignment. 
  • Illini-Alert: Sign up for the Illini-Alert to stay up-to-date on current events and emergency situations at the university.