Resources for Innovative Course Design
USC Upstate promotes teaching that is consistent with our mission and values. A positive class climate is inclusive, supportive, relevant, accessible, resilient, active, and engaged.
Learning Experience Designers in the Center for Academic Innovation and Faculty Support are available to work one-on-one with faculty members or programs to explore new approaches to course design and delivery. These pages also provide resources for you to explore High-Impact Practices and other evidence-based course design strategies for improving student success and making your teaching more engaging--and more fun.
Media Design Studios
Course Design Guides
- About Instructional Design
- About Backward Design for Course Outcomes, Assessments, and Content
- About Active Learning in Course Design
- About Blended Two-Way Delivery Design (some students face-to-face, others remote)
- About Flipped Classroom Design (online asynchronous with synchronous instruction--online or face-to-face)
- About Hybrid Course Design (blended online asynchronous with face-to-face instruction)
- About HyFlex Course Design (flexible online asynchronous, synchronous, and face-to-face format options students choose)
- About Inclusive Pedagogy
- About Online Course Design (100% online asynchronous, synchronous, or combined)
- About Project-Based Learning in Course Design
- About Service Learning and Community Engaged Course Design
- About Writing Intensive Courses
Understanding Synchronous v. Asynchronous Learning
In synchronous learning, the students and the instructor meet together at the same time and place, though that place could be a physical classroom or a virtual meeting room, like a Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Course Session.
In asynchronous courses, learning activities and instructional materials are built in advance and provided to students in a structured way. Students study course content and work on learning activities at the time and place of their choosing. The instructor and students reach weekly deadlines and learning targets together, but their communication and interactions take place in separate places at separate times. Face-to-face or remote meetings with instructor-student(s) and/or student-student(s) may be arranged for clarification or group work at times that fit individual schedules.