Live Online Courses

Live Online courses are 100% online, but they have “live” or synchronous sessions facilitated via Zoom that students are expected to attend, the same way they are expected to attend class for an on-campus course. The amount and duration of live sessions in a Live Online course will vary based on the length of the term, the number of credit hours, and on instructional decisions made by the instructor. GPS supports Live Online courses and has developed some basic guidelines for this course format:


Photo of a person looking at a laptop with four webinar participants on it

Using Blackboard for Your Live Online Course

Blackboard can be used in many ways for your Live Online course. The Zoom integration with Blackboard is the obvious use, and will save you from having to email out links to meetings and recordings. But Blackboard can also be used to organize course materials, send emails or announcements, view your roster and student activity, receive and grade assignments more efficiently, manage grades, and give quizzes and tests. If you'd like a consultation or help with specific things, email and someone will be happy to help you out. Below are a few Blackboard guides to help get you started:

Interaction in Live Online Courses

When teaching virtually and in real-time, there are a a million ways to make your synchronous sessions interactive. Below are a few tools available to UML faculty that you might incorporate into your Live Online class sessions:

Supplement your Live Online Course with Asynchronous Learning Activities

Live Online classes do not have to be 100% live on Zoom. If you would normally meet for 3 hours per week on campus, it is okay to consider reducing that time in Zoom each week by replacing live instruction with asynchronous activities in Blackboard. There are certain activities that may lend themselves better to asynchronous learning, and other activities that students will benefit from engaging in real-time with you and their classmates. Consider this quote from the Educause article "6 Models for Blended Synchronous and Asynchronous Online Course Delivery":

"Another dimension that should be considered is the movement between synchronous and asynchronous learning. Synchronous time can be scheduled for those activities where students need the support of faculty and peers, such as during group work and complex problem-solving activities, collaborative and discovery learning exercises, and peer feedback and critique sessions. When students require practice with problem sets or need time to increase their proficiency, they may benefit from an asynchronous environment. Asynchronous learning allows students to acquire new knowledge and practice skills at a pace that is optimal for their learning..."

If there are activities in your Live Online class that might be better for students in an asynchronous format, then you might consider reducing live class time each week. Please refer to GPS’ Direct Faculty Instruction in Online Courses document to better understand how you might incorporate asynchronous activities while adhering to the federal guidelines related to direct instruction. And refer to the GPS Guidelines for Live Online Courses (.pdf) if you plan to reduce live class time.


Farmer, H., 2020. 6 Models for Blended Synchronous and Asynchronous Online Course Delivery. Educause