Baruch College Center for Teaching and Learning
 
Teach Hybrid

Hybrid Teaching 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 ctl@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 set up 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, you have at least a month of lead time to plan and set up a hybrid course. And many of the tips in our four-week guide to developing online courses are useful in a hybrid context, as well.

[collapse]
How should you structure a hybrid course?

The structure of a hybrid course can depend on how you intend to pair synchronous and asynchronous course time. The general definition of a hybrid course session is that some online activities replace what would otherwise have been face-to-face classes. Be sure to check how your course modality is listed on CUNYfirst, and what synchronous meeting times are included.
In a hybrid course, it’s especially important that the instructions and organization of your content is clear and accessible, and that students know what to expect from each week of the class as it progresses. Many hybrid instructors seem to find that having regular deadlines or a recurring set of weekly expectations for participation, assignments, and low-stakes activities can help foster student engagement. You can use your online course content—such as with a course website or discussion space—to define clear markers for when assignments are due and synchronous meetings will be held. Hybrid courses tend to work best when asynchronous and synchronous material interconnect; for example, an asynchronous online activity could be followed by a synchronous face-to-face activity on the same topic later in the week.

[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, consider what will work best for your teaching style and method. Many hybrid courses are split “50/50” between online and face-to-face time; however, as per recent Baruch guidelines, the composition of a hybrid course can vary between 33% and 50% in-person or synchronous online meetings (compared to traditional face-to-face sections of the same credit load). Be sure to check what’s listed on CUNYfirst and any departmental expectations.

[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 regular and scheduled intervals, such as at the same time each week. The general expectation is that students would spend more time doing work online than they would in a class that met for the standard, full number of face-to-face hours. Assignments due in advance can be used to structure synchronous course time (face-to-face or online) . Doing this allows students to get into a routine and come prepared to those meetings. For example, students taking a hybrid course may complete an online assignment by Tuesday nights at 10pm, which will then be discussed and expanded upon in Thursday face-to-face sessions.

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

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Give an overview of the course, including that it is a hybrid course and what that means in your teaching context.
  • Clearly delineate what is expected of students in terms of their time commitments and deadlines, needs for internet/computer access, or any specific hardware or software required for the course (and how to access it). Describe what online platforms you’ll be using, and the purpose of each.
  • Include a breakdown of how/when/where time will be spent (online and in-person). In the course schedule, differentiate between online and in-person meetings. Create clear and consistent due dates for (online) assignments to include in the course schedule. Describe how online time in the course will be structured. What will happen online? What assignments or discussions will take place or be due online?

[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. Hybrid courses present opportunities to incorporate digital tools for final projects and weekly assignments. Incorporating weekly assignments can help structure the course, and many may favor assigning individual or group projects as a portion of the course grade—both resulting in a need to change plans for grading and assessment.

[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 their work is assessed at higher stakes
  • Scaffold low-stakes and high-stakes assignments to build upon each other in a logical and meaningful progression
  • Give students varied opportunities to communicate, share ideas, and be heard
  • Promote experiential and active learning for student engagement
  • Encourage meaningful use of digital tools that prioritizes using platforms selectively and deeply
  • Construct opportunities for students to create communities in the online environment
  • Incorporate digital platforms and interaction in coursework, such as group projects and discussions

[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 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?

You’ll find reflections from faculty’s experiences teaching hybrid courses and with materials in the Sample Materials entries of this site. On the main menu, select Sample Materials.
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]
How can I learn about faculty members’ experiences teaching a 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 seminars 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 ctl@baruch.cuny.edu.

[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. Use our scheduling site to make a one-on-one appointment with us.

[collapse]
css.php