Which Class Format is Best for You?

NSCC offers web-enhanced, hybrid, synchronous and online classes.


Web-enhanced classes combine classroom lecture with online components. You will still meet in the classroom at the scheduled dates and times. These classes vary by instructor. Some will put notes online for you to review, others may have online assignments, tests or discussions.

For most classes, the online component will be in Sakai, although some classes may have you access material or complete activities through a third-party site, such as the textbook publisher’s website.


Hybrid classes, like web-enhanced, combine classroom and online components. The primary difference is that hybrid classes have fewer hours in the classroom and more work expected to be completed online.

Like web-enhanced classes, the online component will usually be in Sakai, although some classes may have you access material or complete activities through a third-party site.


Synchronous classes use video conference technology to link students and instructors who are in different locations. You are in class at a scheduled time, see and hear the lecture and interact with your instructor and remote classmates. Homework and tests are usually submitted online.

Synchronous classes can link the main Northwest State campus, any of the satellite campuses or other locations with video conference capability.


Online (web) classes have all content, assignments, projects, discussions, and tests online. There are no scheduled class meeting times, so you can work when your schedule permits.

Online classes are not self-paced however; there are still due dates you must meet. Most of the work will be done through Sakai. Some classes may also require you to complete some work through a third-party website, such as your textbook publisher’s site.

Are Online Classes for You?

Online learning is not for everyone. Online classes are flexible and convenient for some students, but a greater challenge for others. Many things must be taken into consideration before taking an online course. The main things you need to be a successful online learner are:

  • A fairly new computer and software
  • A high-speed Internet connection (cable or DSL)
  • Good computer skills
  • Self-motivation
  • Strong time management ability
  • Good reading comprehension skills

Take a brief online survey to see if you are a good match for online classes.