While students can complete online study only virtually through online programs, resources and tools, students can complete correspondence study either virtually or through print methods. If a college or instructor prefers print methods for correspondence study, students pick up course materials at a campus or receive them in the mail or by fax.
Correspondence courses that utilize print methods often require students to obtain physical textbooks and study guides, which are ordered through the college or university. Some online correspondence courses also have this requirement, but not all. Tests for correspondence courses are often conducted at the college campus or at a designated proctor site, and students are often required to deliver their homework and assignments to the college campus.
Like online courses, correspondence courses allow students to complete the work at their own pace, with a final deadline of class completion. Fully online courses deliver lessons to Web browsers or mobile devices, depending upon the course, and they incorporate online materials, such as videos, Web links and downloadable documents. Communication in online courses occurs through Web forums and discussion boards, and assignments are submitted through an online portal. While correspondence courses require one-on-one interaction between student and teacher, online courses require online interaction and feedback with other students.