The Baruch CTL Hybrid Seminar is an educational opportunity to collectively explore the choices we’re making as educators. It is a hybrid course about teaching hybrid courses, but it is first and foremost a course about teaching and learning in general.
The theoretical underpinnings for the Hybrid Seminar are based in an active, critical, social constructivist view of learning. You can learn more about social constructivism here. We don’t do a lot of lecturing, and we won’t spend lots of time walking you through the specifics of using a particular platform (i.e. Blackboard or Blogs@Baruch). If you’re looking for more of a training like this, we can recommend some really good ones! We’re also happy to collaborate with you one-on-one.
In the Hybrid Seminar, we ask participants to ….
Experience being a student in a hybrid course.
- Hybrid ≠ less work. Participants are expected to complete assignments, interact with others on-line, and come to each face-to-face session fully prepared.
- We introduce a number of new technologies in the seminar and provide tutorials to guide participants through figuring out issues on their own. If participants get frustrated with the tech at times, that’s normal; it’s part of the learning experience.
- We design activities to facilitate extensive participant interaction, reflection, and collaboration. We ask participants to join in on discussions, do reflective writing and thinking, annotate texts and videos digitally, and other active learning activities that rely on them having done their homework.
- A key success factor is everyone’s engagement. Therefore, we expect participants to attend each session in its entirety and participate as fully as able. That said, what we mean by “participation” is not always the same thing as “talking a lot.” We discuss and build group agreements for participation together in the first session.
- We offer one-on-one consultations as a chance for participants to focus on topics specific to their needs and/or discipline. At times, we also connect participants with previous seminar alumni or various offices on campus to answer questions that we can’t answer.
Interact across disciplines.
- The seminar is designed to bring together instructors from a variety of disciplines, so participants can learn about approaches to teaching and learning that may be unfamiliar to them from peers outside of their own discipline.
- We ask participants to articulate — and sometimes to challenge — their values and assumptions as a teacher. We sometimes ask participants to read challenging or controversial material that takes a critical view of educational technology, universities, and society. Our hope is that participants can take this as an opportunity to reflect on why they do what they do (a process that we also undergo very frequently as facilitators!)
Try out new things.
- Participants are introduced to a lot of new technologies throughout the seminar. We don’t expect them to use all of new tech in their class, and in fact, an effective hybrid course can be a course that uses very little technology. We just want participants to know their options.
- We ask participants to keep an open mind and to sit with the ideas in the readings, the activities, and the other seminar content, even if they don’t agree or if these things don’t feel immediately relevant to their context.
One last thing….Please take our stuff!
- We set up the format for the Hybrid Seminar as a way to model what we ask participants to do in their own classrooms. We ask them to take and build on anything they like about the seminar and use it in their own classes (this includes session activities, instructions or documentation that we use, readings we assign, or any resources that we provide during the course of the seminar).
- We also encourage them to improve the things they don’t like about the seminar. And tell us how it goes. We’re always trying to improve what we do.
- Lastly we note that if we ever use participants’ work, we will ask for their permission first. We are teachers, too, and we feel strongly about asking (and compensating) faculty for their labor.