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2021 Course Frequently Asked Questions

What is MSU Denver’s plan for classes in Summer & Fall 2021? 

MSU Denver will continue with the same mixed approach to classes for the Summer 2021 term and return to offering more in-person courses for Fall 2021 (see Safe Return to Campus FAQ). 

How will the University determine which classes will meet in person and which will meet online? 

Some classes may still need to take place online. On-campus classes will be prioritized based on which require an in-person component to meet Student Learning Objectives (SLO). 

  • Tier 1 – On-campus required 
    • Classes that require an in-person component in order to meet SLOs. These classes would have to be canceled otherwise and will be given top priority. An example would be a chemistry lab where the learning can only be accomplished with the use of University resources and space and where expert oversight for safety (non-coronavirus-related) is mandatory.

  • Tier 2 – On-campus preferred
    • Classes for which an in-person component would be ideal but could meet minimum SLOs in an online format. These will backfill open spaces after Tier 1 courses are assessed and filled.

  • Tier 3 – Online-ready
    • Classes that can migrate to online without significantly impacting SLOs, keeping in mind that we have more time to develop excellent online coursework, as opposed to the quick transition we made this spring. 

Will I get the same quality education in an online class as I do with an in-person class?    

Yes. Courses migrated to remote learning in spring and summer were functional and effective – over 97% of you remained active and engaged in your newly-remote courses. For fall, MSU Denver implemented course-design expectations to build upon the quality and simplicity of these courses. Existing online courses that meet these expectations deliver equivalent grade and withdraw rates as face-to-face courses, so we are confident you will experience real learning and preparation for your future – not just completion of requirements to get closer to a diploma.

I’ve heard online courses will be taught in Canvas, is that true?

We are evolving to provide you one of the most immersive, connected, and efficient online learning experiences available, and part of that evolution is to offer our courses within the most dynamic system available – Canvas. When launched starting this fall, it will noticeably improve the user experience for students.

How will I learn to use Canvas?

Canvas is easy to use, and this video reviews its basic features. This video and direction from your instructor within your courses will also shape your understanding.

Also, we are confident in the very simple, efficient user interface within Canvas. We’ve been informed providing student-specific Canvas support simply isn’t necessary; however, we didn’t want to take any chances. For that reason, students – those familiar, uncertain, and uncomfortable with online learning – will receive similar Canvas 24/7 365 Canvas call-in and chat support for one year after which ITS will provide support. Contact information will be available in your Canvas courses.

What is the difference between "Online" and "Synchronous" online learning?

  • Online Learning (includes courses formerly listed as 'Asynchronous')
    • Online learning includes all course types that do not require you to come to campus and that meet robust but simple course design and teaching expectations. These courses allow students to review course content and complete course requirements without needing to attend live, required sessions. 

  • Synchronous Online Learning
    • This is a type of online learning. Synchronous courses include consistent and required live class sessions on a predetermined schedule. These courses may have weekly course meetings, midterm or finals study sessions, or live group project requirements. When you schedule a synchronous course, the course times will be listed and will populate in your projected schedule to ensure you don’t schedule other courses at the same time.

I have already enrolled in spring classes; how do I find out how my courses will be offered?

Log into Student Hub to view your current course registration. Online courses will be listed as SYNCH or Online and will not have a building assignment. In-person, on-campus courses will have a building assignment.

How does taking online classes impact my financial aid?

Taking all online classes does not impact your financial aid award. Students are eligible for the same types of financial aid whether taking classes online or on-campus. 


Check out class availability below for Summer & Fall 2021:



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