Hybrid learning is a combination of in person and remote teaching and learning with the goal of mixing learning techniques to effectively teach the content and meet the learning needs of students.
- Greater flexibility in scheduling;
- Ability to track learning; and
- Encourages ownership of learning.
- Ability to appeal to varying learning preferences;
- Higher-quality interactions with students;
- More purposeful in-person instruction that emphasizes deeper learning; and
- Increased collaboration among students.
There are two types of hybrid courses at UConn. In a hybrid course (HB), a minimum of 50% of instruction occurs on specified days/times and in a specified physical location. This portion of the course will meet in person. The remainder of instruction is delivered remotely, either synchronously or asynchronously.
In a hybrid limited course (HL), some instruction, but less than 50%, occurs on specified days/times and in a specified physical location. This portion of the course will meet in person. The remainder of instruction is delivered remotely, either synchronously or asynchronously.
How does this differ from a “flipped” course? Flipped course design is an instructional strategy, whereas, “hybrid”, "hybrid limited" and “in-person” are delivery modes. A “flipped” strategy is most often used along with in-person or hybrid modes but refers to the instructional approach and the deliberate presentation of content, activities, and assessments in order to maximize student learning.
Factors to consider when designing a hybrid course:
- Focus on course design, not technology. Focus on the course learning objectives to guide the activities and assessments in course.
- Plan learning activities that capitalize on the strengths of online and in-person learning environments. In person sessions are best for problem-solving, performance-based demonstrations, individual presentations, and coaching. The online environment is best for information acquisition, drill and practice, quizzes, project development, peer reviews, and discussions.
- Avoid fragmentation of course materials. Connect what occurs in class with what is studied online.
- Don't overload the course. Hybrid learning is not intended to add additional online activities, creating the "course and a half" phenomenon. Calculate the workload associated with the course materials, remembering that online activities typically take twice as long to complete.
Factors to consider when teaching a hybrid course:
- Provide detailed assignment instructions. Detailed instructions allow students to work independently on course activities.
- Create an instructor presence in the online environment. Check in on how students are doing every week through offline and real-time conversations.
- Facilitate online engagement and interactions. Provide opportunities for student interactions in the online environment.
- Provide regular feedback to ensure students know their progress. Regularly provide feedback and clearly articulate criteria for success.
The process of designing and teaching a hybrid course should start 5-6 months prior to the semester in which it will be taught. Sufficient time to plan and prepare a course is essential for ensuring the best outcomes for students and faculty alike. The resources listed below will assist faculty in the planning and preparation phases of their hybrid course creation.
CETL’s eCampus has created resources to assist in the self-design process.
The five steps in planning/designing your course
A key step of the design process is designing your learning objectives. These objectives will provide a foundation for the course and guide you in making appropriate curricular and assessment choices. Clearly expressing the objectives and outcomes informs learners as to what is expected of them, allowing them to monitor their performance and learning against these objectives and outcomes. As instructors create course activities and assessments, they will be mapped to these objectives to ensure outcomes are achieved. This mapping provides a foundation for learners to achieve learning objectives and ensures the instructor is building a learning experience consistent with the intended outcomes.
The second of the 3 phases includes designing, building, and teaching the online course.
The three steps in Phase 2 are:
Step 1: Choose a HuskyCT Course Structure
Step 2: Build Your Modules, Activities, Assessments, Assignments, and Content
Step 3. Review and Evaluate
Now that the course is planned, it needs to be developed in HuskyCT. If you are new to HuskyCT, EdTech has made resources available on how to use various features. EdTech also offers training, additionally EdTech has created recordings of some of these trainings.
The third phase of the process is to teach the course.
The three steps in this phase are:
Step 1: Finalize Your Syllabus
Step 2: Review eCampus Knowledge Base Articles on Teaching Online
Step 3. Review and Evaluate