Converting a Traditional On-site Course to Hybrid
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.” 
In addition, courses taught even partially at a distance often involve more rigorous planning  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!
- Creating learning environments that promote active learning, critical thinking, collaborative learning, and knowledge creation.
- Developing 21st-century literacies among students and faculty (information, digital, and visual).
- Reaching and engaging today’s learner.
- Encouraging faculty adoption and innovation in teaching and learning with IT.
- 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  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.
 (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
Articles About Teaching
- November 17, 2012Since 1987, these principles have often been cited as useful strategies for anyone who teaches undergraduates. The conclusions derived by Chickering and Gamson were supported by an analysis of over 50 years of research findings in the area
- December 11, 2012Replicating 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
- March 1, 2013Online 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
Effective Practices: Using Popular Media for Active Learning: Engaging Students Outside of the ClassroomDecember 17, 2012Teaching 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.
- December 4, 2012William 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.”
- November 19, 2012The Queens College Teaching with Technology page begins with a basic description of the various tools available for online teaching (i.e What is Blackboard? What is a Wiki?), and includes links on the how to’s of using these technologies. The page ends by providing links to databases and clearinghouses that provide pedagogical support.
- September 10, 2012Bronx 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 Course Development Checklist provides guidance on the most important components of an online course.
- November 20, 2012From 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
- November 19, 2012Even 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
- November 17, 2012The 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
- November 19, 2012Queens College offers a basic tutorial for WordPress beginners. While the advice begins with help on how to log into Queens College’s Qwriting, the advice that follows is applicable to all WordPress accounts.
- November 19, 2012Hunter College’s Academic Center for Excellence in Research and Teaching offers a list of blogs, ereadings, conferences, organizations, and teaching and learning center information and links Beyond Hunter.
- November 19, 2012Lehman College’s Writing Center offers faculty some practical advice on how to address writing errors by students: Handling Surface Errors in Student Writing
- November 19, 2012John Jay College recommends Carnegie Mellon’s “Solve a Teaching Problem” for concrete examples on how to address some of the more basic challenges faced by faculty from what to do if your student/students can’t keep up with the readings to cheating. While the advice found here is generally for face-to-face classrooms, most of the information can easily be generalized to online classrooms.
- November 19, 2012The Center for Teaching at Brooklyn College has a page dedicated to pedagogy journals and conferences : Develop As a Teacher
- November 18, 2012The Internet Detective offers a tutorial for students on how to surf the web and find quality information. While the site is geared for students and can also be found under “additional resources for students,” faculty might want to consider incorporating the use of the site into an assignment. The tutorial found on this site is for conduction general research on the web. If you are looking for course specific tutorials, these can be found at the Virtual Training Suite, which is also found under additional resources for students.
- November 17, 2012Trying to find assignments that work can be quite time-consuming, especially if you’re just setting up your course. This section provides ideas for a variety of different assignments ranging from introductory assignments, to mid-semester and end of semester assignments that can be used as assessments. School of Professional Studies Welcome and Ice-Breaker Activities School of Professional Studies Two Assignments That Can be Used for Mid-Semester and End of Semester Assessment Queensborough Community College Digital Storytelling Brooklyn College Writing Across the Curriculum Mini-Lessons Hostos Community College Writing Across the Curriculum : Lots of assistance with writing, but see low-stakes writing session for good ideas for small assignments Lehman College Creating Effective Writing Assignments Queens College Lesson Plans and Assignments Handouts and Activities for Students LaGuardia College Activities for Math Courses
- November 17, 2012York College Efficient Grading for Busy Faculty
- November 14, 2012While the documents in this post provide help with designing your hybrid online course, some of the information found is for completely online courses or face-to-face teaching. However the information can be easily adjusted to accommodate any course type. Please also note that the colleges outside of CUNY were suggested from across CUNY’s Teaching and Learning Centers or from across CUNY’s Instructional Technology Centers. Queensborough Community College Faculty e-Learning FAQ’s Lehman College Guide_for_Instructors_to_Lehman_Online_Learning CUNY School of Professional Studies Enhancing Online Learning:A Quick Guide for Online Instructors John Jay’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching Recommends this site from Carnegie Mellon’s Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence Design and Teach a Course Virginia Commonwealth University Online Teaching and Learning Resource Guide: Course Design York College A Compendium of Teaching Tips (this will link you to a list of 9 different colleges outside of CUNY)
- November 17, 2012Once you’ve complete your course you might want to use the checklists provided below as a final measure of preparedness. Lehman College Online Course Checklist
- November 17, 2012A collection of 7 flash videos from York’s Center for Teaching and Learning Speaker Forums. York CETL Speaker Forum Dr. Sonia Gonsalves Director, Institute for Faculty Development, TheRichardStocktonCollegeofNew Jersey.November 16, 2007. “Student Prior Knowledge” Dr. Richard Felder Director, National Effective Teaching Institute.March 7, 2008. “Student Learning Styles” Dr. Laurie Richlin Director, Faculty Development,CharlesDrewUniversityof Medicine and Science.October 16, 2008. “The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” Dr. Laura Guertin Associate Professor, Earth Science, Penn State-Brandywine.February 19, 2009. “Just-In-Time Teaching” Dr. Joseph Gonzalez Director,LivingLearningCenter, AppalachianStateUniversity.October 19, 2007. “Designing Experiential Learning” Dr. Jason Scorza Associate Provost for Global Learning,FairleighDickinsonUniversity.September 18, 2008. “Technology and Course Design” Dr. James Rhem Executive Editor, National Teaching and Learning FORUM.February 8, 2008. “Thinking About Teaching”
- November 17, 2012CUNY School of Professional Studies A Comprehensive List of Standards, Best Practices and Criteria Lehman College Suggestions for Managing Online and Hybrid Classrooms Borough of Manhattan Community College Online Teaching Tips from BMCC Faculty New York City College of Technology Using Technology to Enhance the Learning Process York College
- November 17, 2012This article offers advice to the novice on the appearance of your site. Top Ten Mistakes of Academic Design
- November 17, 2012Often time students are unaware that working in an online classroom environment is different from interacting with their friends and family members online. Here’s some advice on how to prepare students for what is expected of their behavior in an online classroom. The Netiquette Home Page provides not only a list of “core rules,” but also a netiquette quiz. The Netiquette Home Page
- November 14, 2012While 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
- November 14, 2012New York City College of Technology Child Development
- July 11, 2012The SLOAN-C EFFECTIVE PRACTICES site covers everything from assessment to online course design. This peer reviewed site provides some of the best practices that have evolved from the work of SLOAN-C members. CUNY is an active member of the Sloan Consortium.
- September 10, 2012Bronx 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.
- September 10, 2012Bronx 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 Learning Unit Planning Guide is provides steps to follow when creating learning units for an online course.
- July 6, 2012The Rubric for Online Insruction from Cal State Chico provides a list of criteria to evaluate online instruction. The site also contains links to quality courses in Blackboard, instructional design tips, as well as the rubric in PDF format.
- September 10, 2012Bronx 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.