An online course is typically composed of either twelve (summer term) or fourteen (fall/spring terms) course learning modules. Each module is equivalent to one week of instruction. Different programs and instructors can chose to modify this structure. A module is composed of various learning objects such as a module learning guide, recorded video lectures, module readings, discussion forum questions, module assignments, and either module or course assessments.

Every course includes a course syllabus and a course outline. The course syllabus includes a detailed explanation of what the course is about, what students can expect to learn, how their learning will be assessed, and policies they are expected to follow. The course outline provides the student with the course-at-a-glance, which lists all the course topics by date, what is required, and when.