Teaching

Converting a Traditional On-site Course to Hybrid

The Redesign

By definition a hybrid or blended course reduces face-to-face ‘seat time’ so that the online technologies can be used for instruction and communication outside the classroom. In addition to out-of-class work assigned , instructors create assignments and facilitate online activities to supplant some of the classroom work and the result is a hybrid course. To be successful, a hybrid course requires careful pedagogical redesign stemming from ‘community building,’ the act of “creating a learning environment that fosters interaction, dialogue, and mentoring.” [1]

In addition, courses taught even partially at a distance often involve more rigorous planning [2] and organization than face-to-face courses, the reason being that the instructor has fewer opportunities to change course activities by mutual in-person agreement. In a hybrid class, ‘face-time’ with your students  is limited  so that what ordinarily might be solved in class has to be reflected through the online course components. Weekly modules will need to be clearly delineated and a flow should be established for the online vs. on-site classroom time from the beginning to facilitate the  learning and to allay confusion.

As you begin this process, keep in mind that redesign occurs incrementally. It’s not important to include too many new activities at the outset. Whether you are designing an asynchronous online or hybrid course the process is similar to what works in an on-ground course:

What are some things to keep in mind during the redesign process?

  • Start small and you can build your course incrementally.
  • Experiment and use your student’s responses and actions to learn as you go.
  • Keep technology use simple in order to avoid turning the course into a support nightmare and gradually add more advanced technology as your comfort dictates.
  • As you significantly increase the number of assignments and opportunities for feedback, you also potentially increase your own work load- see that you don’t burn yourself out!
Ranked by popularity, the following are the top-five challenges for teaching and learning in 2009: (Educause Wiki– blend-online resources)
  1. Creating learning environments that promote active learning, critical thinking, collaborative learning, and knowledge creation.
  2. Developing 21st-century literacies among students and faculty (information, digital, and visual).
  3. Reaching and engaging today’s learner.
  4. Encouraging faculty adoption and innovation in teaching and learning with IT.
  5. Advancing innovation in teaching and learning (with technology) in an era of budget cuts.

 Assessing Your Own Online Readiness

Those who teach online would agree that it’s yeoman’s work.  In addition to the semester-by-semester updating to curriculum, assignments and exams that is required of any type of teaching, online teaching requires an overall greater time commitment by the instructor.

This section attempts to reduce some of that time commitment by providing  resources specific to the teaching of hybrid courses.  However, before you begin you might want to know whether or not online teaching is right for you.  Penn State has developed quite a useful Faculty Assessment of Preparedness to Teach Online.  The assessment contains 4 categories and 22 questions regarding organizational skills, planning skills, detail skills and availability.  After completing the questionnaire, you will receive a detailed evaluation of your readiness to teach online.  Here is an example of an edited results page.

Planning Your Course- Organization is the Key!

Online and hybrid courses often involve explicit and more rigorous planning and organization [2] at the start than in face-to-face courses; the reason being that the instructor has fewer opportunities to change course activities by mutual in-person agreement. What ordinarily might be “solved in class” in a traditional teaching model is limited by the long range scope of an online class.  The course components need to work together and be clearly delineated from the beginning to allay fears about having less contact time and to minimize confusion.

The modules for a hybrid course are based on your previously established ‘traditional’ onsite course map; similarly divided by objectives, content, activities and assessments offered in “chunks.”  The sequencing or ‘flow’ of these in-person and online modules is vital to the success of the course as it determines the pace of learning; usually each module is assigned a certain number of days for completion.

Students will need rules about where to find and how to complete the modules and they are often set out as a ‘ road-map.’ An important concern when planning these modules is that the activities are seen as reasonable to complete within the total time frame allotted to the class.

 What does an Online Learning Module Contain?

A learning module provides the participant with the information and guidance they need in order to carry out learning tasks and achieve certain objectives. Typical interaction activities in a module will model an active classroom: responding in groups to a text or a set of articles, viewing a video online and taking notes, taking a quiz, researching or responding via discussion board to end of unit questions.

 

 


[1]  (Stephanie Babb, 2010) Constructing Communication in Blended Learning Environments: Students’ Perceptions of Good Practice in Hybrid Courses. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching Vol. 6, No. 4, December 2010 Stephanie Babb, Cynthia Stewart, and Ruth Johnson

[2] Blended Learning Toolkit DIY Project tasks to build a hybrid course

Articles About Teaching

  • Bridge the Gap – Educating Instructors in Course Design

    December 11, 2012 Alyson VogelReplicating the interactivity of the physical classroom is an essential component to the success of an online environment since it can bridge the gap between the isolation of distance learning and the fluidity of the discourse as it might occur in traditional classrooms.  Learn how learning management systems support increased “human presence” through multimedia platforms. Extensive training in instructional design and collaboration between IT staff, administrators and instructors is key to implementing outstanding online programs. Bridge the Gap – Educating Instructors in Course Design The resources in this document can all be found attached to this post: Online and Hybrid Course Development1-1 Lehman Syllabus example Starting from scratch- syllabus and performance_objectives in the hybrid classroom  
  • Online “Netiquette”: Being a responsible ‘net’ citizen

    March 1, 2013 Alyson Vogel  Online Netiquette This document frames a courtesy and respect policy and set of guidelines for students posting comments in their online classes and is a helpful one-page addition to your online course suitable for your course documents section. It’s entitled Online ‘Netiquette’ – Being a responsible ‘net’ citizen in a digital world. The document is campus-specific to Lehman College as seen in a few bullets, but can be adapted for your own college using resources that abide by your college’s principles of community and campus policies governing computer use and student conduct. (See link to Online Netiquette.) CUNY Acceptable Use Policy: The City University of New York Policy on Acceptable Use of Computer Resources
  • Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education

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  • Effective Practices: Using Popular Media for Active Learning: Engaging Students Outside of the Classroom

    December 17, 2012 Alyson VogelTeaching first year English composition, a compulsory subject at Queensborough Community College (QCC), can be challenging, especially when trying to engage a diverse student population with a wide range of prior educational backgrounds. Adding a technology component to a course such as EN101 not only enriches student experience but also embraces QCC’s general education learning objectives, and, in particular, the objective to “use information management and technology skills effectively for academic research and lifelong learning,” as stated in its Assessment Handbook.
  • Things I say to my Blackboard students

    December 4, 2012 Alyson VogelWilliam Ashton teaches at York and has a blog entitled things I say to my Blackboard students. Ashton: “I realized this morning, when responding to a student on Bb, that it might benefit others if I share some of the things I say to my students on Blackboard.”
  • Queens College: Help with Teaching with Technology

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  • BCC Online Course Development Checklist

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  • Essay Checklist: A Resource or an Assignment? You Decide

    November 20, 2012 Maria PaganoFrom Queens College, Writing at Queens While the information found below from the Queens College writing is found under “Students,” the page does suggest to faculty that they might want to incorporate the use of these instruments into their course.  The instructions and the links, taken from the “Writing at Queens” page can be found here and under “student additional resources.” GordonHarvey Elements of the Academic Essay by Gordon Harvey Essay Checklist for Art_Humanities_Social Sciences by Jason Tougaw Peer-reviewChecklist Math Natural Sciences by Jason Tougaw
  • Podcasting and Beyond

    November 19, 2012 Maria PaganoEven if you don’t know what podcasting or screen capturing are, there are several useful sites across CUNY and beyond that can get you started. Queens College Podcasting, Adobe Connect, Free Screen Capture Software John Jay College Podcast on Podcasting
  • End of Course Review Checklist: Evolve: Evaluate, Review, and Revise Your Online Course

    November 17, 2012 Maria PaganoThe School of Professional Studies offer some ideas on what you should think about once your course is completed for the semester.  The checklist-style presentation might also be used when setting up your course. Evolve: evaluate, review, and revise your online course
  • Help with WordPress

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  • Develop As a Teacher

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  • Assignments

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  • Grading Rubrics

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  • Resources for Faculty Preparation of Online Courses

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  • Online Course Preparation Checklist

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  • York College Center for Teaching and Learning Speaker Forum Videos

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    November 14, 2012 Maria PaganoWhile the majority of the general syllabi found here are for online courses, some are not.  For example, the Brooklyn College link will provide you with information on how to prepare a syllabus that is not geared toward online learning however, the information you find in the section on syllabus preparation be easily generalized to an online class. Lehman College Brooklyn College Hostos Community College New York City College of Technology Queensborough Community College
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  • BCC Online Teaching Guide

    September 10, 2012 Laura C Broughton Bronx Community College has an intensive 6-month online course development program using Blackboard as the learning management system.  Materials provided to the faculty participants have been developed collaboratively by Dr. Howard Wach, Dr. Charles Alston, and Dr. Laura Broughton, with feedback from Dr. Giulia Guarnieri, Prof. Moronke Oshin-Martin, and Mr. Albert Robinson. The BCC Online Teaching Guide is provides guidance on the most important components of an online course.
  • BCC Learning Unit Planning Guide

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  • Rubric for Online Instruction from Cal State Chico

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    September 10, 2012 Laura C BroughtonBronx Community College has an intensive 6-month online course development program using Blackboard as the learning management system.  Materials provided to the faculty participants have been developed collaboratively by Dr. Howard Wach, Dr. Charles Alston, and Dr. Laura Broughton, with feedback from Dr. Giulia Guarnieri, Prof. Moronke Oshin-Martin, and Mr. Albert Robinson. The BCC Hybrid Class Planning Form is designed to be used by instructors at the beginning of the course design process.
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