2020-21 Course FAQs

Q: What is a synchronous course?

Your class has a set time slot (or slots) each week, when the course will meet on-line through a videoconferencing platform (eg., Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate).

Q: What is an asynchronous course?

Your class doesn’t have a set time slot – the course material is available on the OWL course website for you to work through at your own pace, subject to whatever deadlines or benchmarks the instructor has set.

Q: Is an “in-person” course just a normal classroom experience?

Yes, except that it will be held in a much larger room to allow for physical distancing. So, a tutorial with 20 students will be held in a lecture theatre that seats 100 people, and students will only be allowed to occupy certain desks.

Q: Is a “virtual” course the same as an “on-line” course?


Q: Is a rutabaga the same as a turnip?

No – the rutabaga originated as a cross between a turnip and a cabbage.

Q: My timetable lists a weekly time slot for my History class, but it also says the class is online.  Does this mean I need to log in to OWL or a videoconferencing platform at that time?

If the class has a timetable spot listed, the instructor will offer at least some “synchronous” (eg., all students together in a Zoom virtual classroom) content. This may occur weekly or on a less regular schedule. The instructor will provide additional detail about when and how to connect with your class on OWL. You should keep that time slot free in your schedule so that you can participate in classroom activities.

Q: If my course is listed as in-person, what should I do if I’m uncomfortable being in a classroom?

Every History course can be accessed virtually, regardless of how it is scheduled. If your tutorial or seminar is listed as “in-person”, you will still be able to take part virtually, through a videoconferencing platform. No student will be expected to attend an in-person class meeting if they are not comfortable doing so.

Q: If all of my classes run online, do I need to return to London in September?

As far as your History courses are concerned, you will NOT be required to return to campus. Everything you need to do to complete your History courses can be done virtually. However, courses in other departments may have different expectations, so you should consult the instructors in those courses.

For additional information and the latest updates, please see:

The Office of the Registrar

UWO’s Student Resources Hub


Faculty of Social Science FAQ