Teaching Hybrid & Online

What is a hybrid or fully online course?

Online and hybrid instruction means that student learning and academic activities happen outside of the traditional brick-and-mortar classroom. These learning activities are usually supported through web-based technology. The activities may include things such as on-line lectures, on-line discussions, on-line tutorials and projects, posting to blogs, wikis and other social networking sites, as well as webinars, podcasts, and real time teleconferences.

The Baruch College Registrar’s Office considers a class to be online when, at most, one-third of class time is spent in a physical classroom.

Students in a “fully” online class can still be required to come into school for exams, labs, etc.

A hybrid class or blended class is one in which 33 – 67% of instruction occurs online.

A class which has less than 33% online instruction is considered to be “web facilitated.”

While these are the definitions used to determine that status of the class, there are myriad models for how to make use of flexible course structures and time. Faculty members may decide to use hybridization to combine courses from different disciplines at Baruch, or to co-teach courses with faculty members from other institutions, or to free time up for students to research at sites around the city. The CTL is committed to supporting faculty members who want to explore the pedagogical possibilities opened up by moving a significant amount of instruction online, and who want to share with other members of the community the results of their experimentation.

The resources below provide a brief overview of hybrid/online teaching and learning.


Are there faculty development opportunities for teaching Hybrid/Online courses?

The CTL Faculty Fellows Hybrid Seminar is a terrific opportunity for Baruch faculty who have not yet experimented with teaching in an online/hybrid format. Seminar participants will be encouraged to think creatively about how teaching in this format can open up new pedagogical opportunities within and across disciplines. With the guidance of the CTL staff and feedback from other faculty fellows, participating faculty will develop syllabi, assignments, assessments, online learning resources, and digital spaces for their course. Faculty Fellows will be matched with a CTL Hybridization Fellow, whose role is to support and collaborate with the Faculty Fellow throughout the semester.

The CTL Faculty Fellows Hybrid Seminar is offered during the fall or spring semester. If you are interested in participating, please  email ctl@baruch.cuny.edu.


Hybrid/Online FAQs

Questions and considerations for faculty members teaching a hybrid course for the first time are outlined below. To set up and consultation appointment to for assistance designing a hybrid course, email Laurie Hurson (laurie.hurson@baruch.cuny.edu).

How long does it take to plan and setup a hybrid course?

While there is no exact answer to this question, you should give yourself ample time to plan and setup your hybrid course. Successful hybridization requires more than taking the traditional course and “moving it online”. The entire course structure must be reconsidered and redesigned for the hybrid mode of instruction. Once you learn that you will be teaching a hybrid course, the planning can begin. Ideally, a you would have 2-3 months lead time to plan and setup their hybrid course.

[collapse]
How should you structure a hybrid course?

The CTL published a faculty guide for online/hybrid teaching . The guide provides information on course structuring, assignment design, syllabus creation, accessibility, and technology options.

[collapse]
What portion of the class will be face-to-face? What portion will be online?

When planning how time will be spent in a hybrid course, you need to consider what will work best for your teaching style and method. Many hybrid courses are split “50/50” between online and face-to-face (F2F) time. This may not be the best method for every course so you may want to consider various options. Some faculty members in the past have found the 50/50 split manageable for their first time teaching a hybrid course. 

[collapse]
What will take place each week during the online portion of the class?

For the online portion of the class, successful hybrid courses typically require students to complete an assignment online due at the same time, every week. This assignment can be used to structure the F2F time. Doing this allows students to get into a routine and come prepared to the F2F sessions. For example, students taking a hybrid course know that by Tuesday night at 10 pm they have to complete that week’s online assignment. The work completed will be discussed and expanded upon in the F2F Thursday session.

[collapse]
When designing the syllabus for a hybrid course, are there any special sections or aspects that should be included?

  • Give an overview of the course, including details of what a hybrid course entails
  • Clearly delineate what is expected of students in terms of time commitment, internet/computer access
  • Include a breakdown of how/when/where time will be spent (online and F2F)
  • Describe how the online time will be structured (what will happen online?)
  • Create clear and consistent due dates for (online) assignments to include in course schedule
  • In the course schedule differentiate between online and F2F meetings
  • Include information about what technologies will be used and provide instructions on how to find and access that space/tool

These samples of hybrid course syllabi might also lend some insight into past hybrid courses and how they were structured. These syllabi were designed by faculty who participated in the CTL hybridization seminars.

[collapse]
How does online work factor into the student’s final grade?

Faculty who teach hybrid courses often have to re-evaluate their course assessment structure. Faculty members have thought carefully the affordances that hybrid courses offer to incorporate digital tools for final projects and weekly assignments. Incorporating weekly assignments help structure the course and may change the grading and assessment processes for the course. Since hybrid courses allow for faculty to reconsider assessment some favor assigning final projects (individual or group) as a large portion of the final grade.  

[collapse]
What types of assignments work well in hybrid courses?

When teaching a hybrid course, faculty members often re-imagine traditional assignments and/or develop new ones to better fit the hybrid model. Often, assignments are scaffolded so that each assignment successively builds on skills and knowledge gained in previous assignments. Faculty members have developed assignments for their hybrid courses that:

  • Construct tasks that give students practice before assessment
  • Scaffold low-stakes and high-stakes assignments to build upon each other in a logical progression
  • Give students varied opportunities to be heard
  • Promote active learning
  • Engage students in experiential learning
  • Encourage the use digital tools
  • Construct opportunities for students to create communities in the online environment
  • Work towards a final (often digital) project

[collapse]
What digital and online platform(s) will you use?

There are various  platforms and tools that can be used facilitate a hybrid course. The CTL’s educational technology page provides an overview of the various tools faculty members have used in hybrid courses.

You will probably want to choose a platform to serve as the main online space for the hybrid course. In the past faculty have typically chosen between Blackboard, the learning management system provided throughout CUNY, and Blogs@Baruch, a blogging and website building platform developed here at Baruch. The platforms differ in functionality and aesthetic design. A comparison chart can be viewed here.

Both platforms offer various ways to share course information, engage students, and create assignments that they can complete online. Assignments can also be created using other digital tools, such as Vocat, Forclass, Twitter. Faculty have also used Google Docs for writing assignments and file sharing. If you are looking for a synchronous web conferencing tool,  you may want to consider using Webex.

[collapse]
Is there support available for me while I plan my hybrid course?

The CTL runs hybrid seminars bringing faculty members together to think through the process of hybridizing their courses. For more information, take a look at the summary from previous CTL seminar that also discusses CTL’s faculty development strategy in developing online/hybrid courses. The call for proposals circulates in the beginning of the semester prior to the seminar. For more information, contact Laurie Hurson (laurie.hurson@baruch.cuny.edu) . 

[collapse]
How can I learn about faculty members’ experiences teaching a hybrid course?

During the Spring 2015 semester, the Center for Teaching and Learning conducted interviews with and surveys of faculty and students who were teaching or enrolled in hybrid and online courses at Baruch College. The On Hybridization site houses the published interviews and an in-depth analysis of the faculty and student survey data.

[collapse]
Who can I contact for help planning my hybrid course?

The CTL has several digital pedagogy specialists to support faculty in planning and implementing their hybrid course.

Resources