Modes of Instruction

Clarifying Modes of Instruction in CUNYFirst

Each academic department is responsible for sending course descriptions, with mode of instruction clarified, to the appropriate dean’s office, which forwards them to the registrar. The registrar then inputs the information into CUNYFirst. However, students might not realize what taking an online or hybrid course involves, and they probably do not know what the “modes of instruction” mean or where to look for the codes when they register for courses on CUNYFirst.

In surveys the CTL conducted in Spring 2015, over half of students enrolled in hybrid/online classes at Baruch in Spring 2015 did not realize that they had registered for a hybrid/online class. For more details about the surveys, visit blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/hybridization.

Faculty can and should clarify the requirements of their online and hybrid courses by including with the course description on CUNYFirst a brief note that tells students what technology they will be required to use, how much class time will be replaced with online instruction, and how the online format will be different from in-person instruction. Faculty might also include any special software or skills that the course requires. 

Example 1: This section is a hybrid course, with 50% of the class happening face-to-face in the classroom and 50% taking place via online learning activities. Questions? Email the instructor: first.last@baruch.cuny.edu

Example 2: Please note that approximately 33% of this course will consist of online video lectures. You will need a solid internet connection either at home, or to take the time to watch the video lectures in the computer labs at Baruch.

Faculty should be sure to check on CUNYFirst after the course has been listed to make sure that the information is correct. If there is a problem, contact the scheduler in the appropriate dean’s office. Faculty may also consider sending registered students an explanatory email well before the start of the semester.

Identifying Modes of Instruction

CUNY has designated the following codes that define how much online time you can allocate in a class. Students will see these codes in CUNYFirst when they register for classes.

P = In-Person. No course assignments and no required activities delivered online. Note: this designation does not mean that digital tools won’t be required in the course.

This is the default mode of instruction used when no other information is given to CUNYFirst about the course. If you have a significant amount of work delivered online or digitally, or if you plan to augment or replace any class sessions or out of class work with digital or online tools, then you should list your class as Web-Enhanced (“W”, see below)

W = Web-Enhanced. No scheduled class meetings are replaced, but some of the course content and assignments, as well as required or optional activities, are online.

In practice, most courses probably fall under this category, but this needs to be clarified to your department and the registrar so that it can be listed properly in CUNYFirst.

PO = Partially online. Up to 32% of scheduled class meetings are replaced with online activities or virtual meetings. Between twenty minutes to fifteen hours of required online work per semester could replace time spent in the classroom.

H =  Hybrid. Between 33% and 80% of scheduled class meetings are replaced with online activities or virtual meetings. Between twelve to thirty-seven hours of required online work per semester will replace time spent in the classroom.

O = Online. More than 80% but less than 100% of scheduled class meetings are replaced with online activities or virtual meetings. Between twenty-eight to forty-six hours per semester will replace time spent in the classroom.

FO = Fully online. 100% of scheduled class meetings are replaced with online activities or virtual meetings. All of the class work, including exams, is online.

Note that a major difference between O and FO is that in an Online class, the final exam can be given in person, but in a Fully Online class, the exam must be given online.