Introduction to eLearning

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What is eLearning?

eLearning is an alternative to a traditional classroom learning experience and is often referred to as “online learning,” “remote learning,” “virtual learning,” “mobile learning,” “digital learning,” or “distance education.”

eLearning involves using primarily the internet and one or more other technologies involving one/two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices or audio/video conferencing.

eLearning at Bellevue College encompasses all online courses, including blended hybrid formats, using Canvas, our Learning Management System (LMS). Our programs include Online Associate Degrees, Bachelor’s Degrees, and Certificates.

Learning environments, what’s the difference?

Online, Hybrid, On Campus, Synchronous, Asynchronous

  • Online courses are taught entirely online and use Canvas. The online Canvas environment replaces the typical classroom experience for material delivery.
    • Class can be synchronous or asynchronous.
    • If you are traveling outside of the U.S. during the quarter, please be aware of any internet restrictions in the country(ies) you travel to. Some course content may not be available. Speak with your instructor/advisor about this before starting the course.
    • Online courses may have required proctored exams.
    • Online courses may involve service learning, labs, field trips, and activities.
    • Online courses will be designated on the class schedule with sections OAS, OBS, OCS, etc
  • Hybrid courses are taught part online and part on campus. Hybrid classes often meet on campus more than one day per week. The rest of your work is completed online via Canvas, our learning management system. These courses will be designated on the class schedule with sections HYA, HYB, HYC, etc.
  • On Campus Face-to-Face courses are taught entirely on campus. The instructor provides information and posts for you in our learning management system in Canvas. Posts may include the syllabus and handouts.
  • Synchronous class, will meet at a specific time, usually every day, or multiple times a week.
  • Asynchronous class, you will learn on your own, watch lectures, do readings, etc. on your own schedule. You may have scheduled exams.

How Does eLearning Work?

In an online course, your instruction is delivered via Canvas, the Bellevue College Learning Management System, rather than in a face-to-face classroom. Think of Canvas as a virtual classroom. Read more about courses in Canvas.
Strategies for success in online classes include logging on to your course on the first day of class, dedicating time each day to completing your course assignments and having reliable technology and an Internet connection. Read more on How to be Successful Online.

Important Class Attendance Information

At Bellevue College, instructors set their own attendance standards. For online courses, logging into the class, participating in discussions, and submitting assignments, are usually considered “attendance.” You must log in to your online class on the first day of the quarter or let your instructor know on or before the first day if you cannot “attend” class. Your instructor may request that Student Central withdraw you from the course if you fail to log in. Read more about Bellevue College Class Attendance Information.

Where can I get help with Canvas?

The eLearning department provides Student Canvas Training at Bellevue College in three ways.

eLearning website:


Twitter: @CanvasStudent

Last Updated October 4, 2023