Teaching hybrid classes

At my college, a “hybrid” course is a course that meets less frequently and has more work done online.  It’s a nice compromise for students who need some schedule flexibility and also have the resources and discipline to accomplish learning outside of the classroom.

A few of my wise faculty colleagues tried teaching hybrid courses and had trouble with them — and I learned from their “opportunities” for growth (to quote a prior dean of mine.. ).

What I learned the most is that students need predictability.  It may be ideal for the instructor to have the class face to face for a few weeks, have a couple of weeks off, then have intermittent meetings to complete the work of the semester, but that isn’t what seems to work for students — they get confused about when they should come to class — and in many cases confusion doesn’t result in a quick check of the syllabus, it results in them staying home.

So — my hybrid course outline is simple — the course meets in person one day per week for most of the semester.  They have only one regularly scheduled class meeting that doesn’t happen and that’s because I give them some “class” time to take their mid-term exam.  Otherwise, I’ll see them on Tuesdays.  period.

Because we have less time together, our interactions are more intense and focused.  I like that — and students seem to respond to it as well.  I don’t do anything in class that feels like a time waster to them — no activities, few small group exercises etc.  Instead it’s a combination of lecture and discussion — for 75 minutes and then they’re done.

So far, I’ve really enjoyed my hybrid classes — the advantage for me is that I don’t get tired of them as quickly — and the attendance is higher, since they realize they only have one meeting with me per week.



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2 responses to “Teaching hybrid classes

  1. Pingback: Teaching hybrid classes… « leftyconcarne

  2. Julie

    Yep, that’s how I do hybrid, too: one class meeting per week. It’s a great way to lecture, discuss, answer questions, practice, preview, review. I actually *schedule* the other non-class day: let’s say it’s a Tuesday/Thursday hybrid. We meet on campus on Tuesday; then, the students have to do something on Thursday, any time in the 24 hours (usually a discussion prompt and a reading quiz, often a real-time chat). That regularity seems to work well for me and my students!

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