Getting Started

Teaching hybrid courses requires coordination among multiple levels within an institution and extensive planning on the part of the faculty member in order to be successful.  At the institutional level,  hybrid-specific policies addressing course scheduling, instructor training, instructor certification, peer observations, and student evaluations need to be in place.  In addition, the institution must have the necessary infrastructure, including a course management system and computer access and internet access for both instructors and students.

When planning to teach a hybrid course, it is important for an instructor to determine what is possible at his or her institution and what institutional resources are available to support their efforts.  All CUNY campuses offer some level of support for teaching initiatives, whether the learning occurs totally online, hybrid, or face-to face.  This support comes from Teaching and Learning Centers, Coordinated Undergraduate Education (CUE), Faculty Online Teaching Centers, Instructional/Academic Technology Centers and e-resources, and Writing Centers.  Moreover, online mentoring for new faculty is available across CUNY campuses.

In addition, as part of the CUNY Hybrid Grant Initiative, the School of Professional Studies offers Preparation for Teaching Online: A Foundational Workshop for all CUNY Faculty. The workshop description and schedule of sessions for 2013 is located at

There are several ways to approach getting started depending on your teaching style.  While some might prefer general suggestions for how to build their course, others might prefer a more direct approach.  That is, a sample syllabus, or sample assignments that can be readily adapted for their course.  This section contains information on how to prepare your course, and ranges from the very specific (i.e. a copy of an online syllabus for Introduction to Psychology)  to the general (i.e. general templates for syllabus construction).   While the syllabus is an important component of any course, this section also highlights many of  the “how to’s” of  online teaching.

There is no one correct way to design a course; as with designing any course or curriculum, the learning goals, the subject matter and the type of course (e.g. lecture, laboratory, recitation, clinical) will shape the final product.  However, there are a number of common features to most hybrid courses, including

  1. An area providing the syllabus, course background, course expectations, grading, guidelines for conduct, contact information for the instructor, and explanations on how to get help with the online environment and coursework
  2. An area with the basic weekly course materials and tasks required of the students
  3. An area that allows for student-student interactions and student-instructor interactions (e.g. the Discussion Board, blogs, wikis)
  4. An area where grades can be displayed.  In addition, throughout the course site there should be continuous and consistent instructions for students that provide guidance on where to find materials and help and how to accomplish the required tasks

  • Bridge the Gap – Educating Instructors in Course Design

    December 11, 2012Alyson Vogel
    Replicating 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  
  • Queens College: Help with Teaching with Technology

    November 19, 2012Maria Pagano
    The 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.
  • Assignments

    November 17, 2012Maria Pagano
    Trying 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
  • Grading Rubrics

    November 17, 2012Maria Pagano
    York College Efficient Grading for Busy Faculty
  • Resources for Faculty Preparation of Online Courses

    November 14, 2012Maria Pagano
    While 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)
  • Online Course Preparation Checklist

    November 17, 2012Maria Pagano
    Once 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
  • “Top Ten Mistakes in Academic Web Design” by Paula Petrik History Computer Review (May 2000)

    November 17, 2012Maria Pagano
    This article offers advice to the novice on the appearance of your site. Top Ten Mistakes of Academic Design
  • Netiquette

    November 17, 2012Maria Pagano
    Often 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
  • General Syllabus Outline for Online Teaching

    November 14, 2012Maria Pagano
    While 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
  • Course Specific Syllabi

    November 14, 2012Maria Pagano
    New York City College of Technology Child Development
  • BCC Online Teaching Guide

    September 10, 2012Laura 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.
Skip to toolbar