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Everything you need to know about ASU Online classes

August 12, 2020 · 6 min read · By ASU Online

Whether you’re looking to pursue a degree program or take a couple classes of interest, we’ve compiled what you need to know about online classes at Arizona State University.


The coronavirus pandemic has challenged traditional methods of educational instruction. New social distancing guidelines may have you considering online classes as an alternative option.

The transition to online classes may seem a little daunting at first if you’re not the most technically savvy person, but don’t fret. You’ll have access to support and technology that enables rather than hinders your learning. We have the inside scoop on what it’s like to be in an online class, how long classes take to complete and how much classes will cost you.


How long are ASU Online classes?

ASU Online classes are compressed into two, 7.5-week sessions during the spring and fall semesters, and 6-week sessions during summer. They operate on a different calendar than traditional on-campus courses, which are 15 weeks in length.

“While digital immersion courses are condensed to 7.5 week sessions, students are not completing 4–5 courses at a time as they may during a campus immersion course,” said Sarah Shipp, senior program manager for EdPlus at ASU. “This gives students the opportunity to focus on 1–3 classes each session, while still completing their degree at a similar pace.”

Although the online sessions are shorter in length, online and on-campus degree programs have the same requirements, learning outcomes and faculty. So, you’ll still need to complete the same number of credit hours.

What are ASU Online classes like?

ASU Online classes take place in Canvas, one of the world’s fastest growing learning management systems. The platform enables students to access coursework and complete assignments on almost any device, from any location around the world, whenever it’s convenient for their schedules.

“Canvas is a very intuitive platform on which to take online courses,” said Andrea Bevier, manager of online learning in ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. “The menus are simple and easy to navigate, the course modules are clean and easy to use, and the built-in technology features are typically trouble-free and very easy to learn.”

Technologies used in the ASU Online environment

ASU Online classes feature a broad range of technology-based learning tools paired with a robust range of resources. These include full access to the online library and 24/7 technology support.

“The assignments in ASU Online courses take advantage of technical learning platforms that work to blur the lines between online and campus-based classes,” said Heidi Sanborn, a clinical assistant professor in ASU’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation. “Students will submit some assignments using artificial intelligence and virtual reality platforms, video-based presentations and virtual simulations, which results in a well-rounded set of skills directly applicable to the real world.”

Sanborn also serves as the director of the online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN–BSN) program as well as the online concurrent enrollment program.

Some professors use Yellowdig, a software platform that leverages the sharing of academic ideas and knowledge through technology. Yellowdig integrates with the learning management system and offers an auto-grade functionality, rich media integration options, draft features and a familiar interface for students. Students achieve points through word count and participating with common social media behavior, like “liking” or “loving” a post or posting a comment.

Playposit is another tool leveraged in ASU Online classes. The digital tool gives professors the ability to turn video content into an interactive experience. Professors can embed formative assessment activities and questions throughout a video. Students can time-stamp, search and download their digital notes.

“We also understand there are multiple domains of learning,” said Jordan Miller, a lecturer in ASU’s College of Health Solutions and coordinator of the bachelor’s degree in health education and health promotion online. “So, we include audio materials and active learning assignments to meet the needs of auditory and tactile-kinesthetic learners, in addition to visual learning materials that are common in online learning environments.”

Academic calendar

The time it’ll take you to finish a degree program depends on several factors, including the rate at which you complete your courses and requirements for your degree program. You can find details about upcoming sessions and semesters on ASU’s academic calendar.

How are online classes different than watching a professor on Zoom with ASU Sync?

ASU Online classes allow for asynchronous learning, which means it can happen any time in alignment with the student’s schedule. Through ASU Sync, a professor and students interact through Zoom during scheduled class periods. Each format has unique strengths that can serve students’ learning needs and preferences.

“The video content and lectures in an ASU Online class are planned as part of the entire course and recorded specifically to support all other learning materials,” said Bevier. “The asynchronous format allows students to return anytime during the course – and after – to review content, rewatch a lecture or just brush up on materials before the final exam.”

Questions cannot be answered live as they can in a synchronous Zoom session. So, each online course has a community forum in which questions can be asked for all to see. This also helps with professor improvement because it tracks common questions that can be referenced later for content improvement.

“ASU Online courses are designed to work for any schedule, regardless of the many different responsibilities our learners have,” said Sanborn. “The intent is that students will take the information provided in the course and apply that knowledge in their own settings in a way that is relevant for their own interests and career trajectories. This allows for each learner to generate new knowledge that is personally relevant and immediately applicable.”


How much are ASU Online classes?

ASU Online tuition costs range between $561–$1,343 per credit hour. These costs may vary based on your program, transfer credits and course load. See the cost breakdown for different programs below.

  • Undergraduate: $561–$661 per credit hour*
  • Graduate: $543–$1,343 per credit hour*
  • Certificate: $543–$1,099 per credit hour*

College costs might seem overwhelming, but there are various ways you can afford these costs. Our tuition calculator can help you estimate your full-time tuition fees. You can also create an annual budget with our worksheet, learn more about financial aid options or explore scholarship opportunities.

*Undergraduate and graduate cost includes program fees. This is not a bill. This is only an estimate. Special class fees are dependent on specific class enrollment and are not included here. The RN to BSN program is $474 per credit hour.

Course tour

Online classes follow guidelines to optimize the learning experience for online students. Each class has the same format, which lets learners become familiar with what is expected of them. The main navigation menu directs students to their account, dashboard, courses, calendar, inbox and help.


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