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Online Course Formats

There are a few different ways you can learn at a distance. Online learning may be synchronous (“live online”), asynchronous, or a mix of the two. There are also guided and correspondence study options in some subject areas.

Online learning

Online delivery of courses at BCIT is through our Learning Hub, a rich, multimedia platform. There are three types of online course delivery: synchronous, asynchronous, and hybrid or blended.

Synchronous online learning

Courses that are synchronous, or “live online,” require regular attendance to weekly scheduled lectures (dates and times are noted on the course page). These courses provide real-time interaction with your instructor and classmates. There are scheduled assignment due dates and exams.

Asynchronous online learning

Taking an asynchronous course means you don’t have to log on to the computer at exactly the same time as your instructor or classmates. You will have specific deadlines to meet for the reading assignments and learning activities, and generally you will follow the instructor week by week as you move through the course content, complete course activities, and post questions to the instructor from within the Learning Hub.

Blended learning

Blended—or hybrid—courses have both online and in-person components. You will receive detailed information about the class schedule before your course starts.

Independent study

Guided learning

Guided courses are most commonly used to prepare for a qualifying exam. Learners order sets of course materials (typically delivered online or by email) and have a 12-week term in which to prepare for their final exam or evaluation. Assignment due dates are also scheduled. Your instructor is available to help via email during a set time each week. The courses often encourage or require online group work.


BCIT correspondence courses are self-directed. They allow you to work at your own pace, with occasional interaction with your instructor. You may be required to submit assignments that are marked and returned and also to complete a mid-term and/or final examination or other form of final student assessment.

Courses are either term-based (beginning and ending on set dates, typically lasting for 12 weeks) or continuous entry. Continuous entry is a flexible option that allows you to register and start at any time. All continuous entry courses have a set course duration in weeks—starting on the registration date—during which the course must be completed.  Many courses allow for re-registration, which provides students additional time to complete their course work.