Hybrid course traits

A well-designed hybrid course typically . . .

  • Places emphasis on learning as an active process, not as passive absorption of information
  • Focuses on learners and learning, rather than purely content delivery and testing for information acquisition
  • Includes online interaction among students and between instructor and students
  • Includes significant instructor presence online throughout the course
  • Uses less than half of class time for one-way delivery of information by the instructor via lecture
  • Devotes significant classroom time to multi-path interaction between students and instructor
  • Engages students in learning activities both online and in the classroom
  • Explicitly integrates online content and activities with in-class content and activities
  • Uses frequent low-stakes assessments of student learning at regular intervals with timely feedback
  • Uses rubrics on assignments where appropriate for guidance and for structured feedback
  • Makes possible a degree of student choice over pathways to reach learning outcomes
  • Aligns content, resources, activities and assessment with learning outcomes
  • Actively encourages learning and interaction beyond the physical classroom


Hybrid/Online learning resources

Hybrid Pedagogy blog

ACM Online Learning Project

Edutopia Blended Learning Resource Roundup

Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning for a digital age by Tony Bates (2015) – free ebook from one of the true pioneers of digital instruction

Blended Learning Toolkit - Examples of Approaches

Examples of hybrid online learning from Ontario

Academic Commons: Case Studies on Digital Collaboration and Blended/Hybrid Learning

13 blended learning uses in K-12 and college classrooms

Cornell: Blended Learning

Oregon State University: Hybrid Course Initiative

MIT: Literature Review on Hybrid/Blended Learning

Grant proposal

Teagle Foundation RFP Category

Hybrid Learning and the Residential Liberal Arts Experience

Project Title

Hybrid Liberal Arts Network: High Touch Learning for the 21st Century

Full Proposal Link

Project Abstract

Albion College, DePauw University, Grinnell College, Hope College, Lawrence University, and Wabash College have formed an alliance called the Midwest Hybrid Learning Consortium, or MHLC. The MHLC has come together to develop and teach hybrid courses collaboratively. The MHLC envisions an eventual hybrid liberal arts network that will live on after the grant is ended. It will include more institutions than just the MHLC colleges and will share hybrid courses among member institutions. In the Spring 2015 pre-implementation phase, eighteen MHLC faculty and their courses will be identified for hybridization, three from each school. The courses will range across different disciplines and will be developed cooperatively across institutions by their instructors. In the implementation phase, faculty will be exposed to hybrid skills and hybrid course design in the summer 2015 workshop, and course development will continue through the Fall by means of various on-campus events. A summer 2016 workshop will be devoted to sharing hybrid experience to that point, to further course development, assessment, additional skills acquisition, and to concentrated work on the hybrid liberal arts network plan. The last phase of the project will be organized around a plenary conference in the summer of 2017, to which other schools beyond the MHLC six will be invited. The MHLC schools will lead presentations on the process of course hybridization, effective practices of collaborative teaching, and the process of hybrid course sharing among institutions. The new hybrid learning network will be promoted to other liberal arts colleges, who will be encouraged to join the network and contribute to its shared hybrid course offerings.

Press releases

The Teagle Foundation of New York awarded a grant to a consortium of midwestern liberal arts colleges to collaborate on the development of hybrid courses and share them across institutions. The project, entitled “Hybrid Liberal Arts Network: Hybrid Learning for the 21st Century,” joins Albion College, DePauw University, Grinnell College, Lawrence University, Hope College, and Wabash College in the effort to pioneer a hybrid liberal arts network of institutions that would share hybrid modules and courses.

Albion College press release

Albion College press release

Hope College press release

Teagle hybrid learning proposal

Initial faculty interest

In late 2014 the steering committee invited faculty to express interest in the Teagle project, with the goal of identifying faculty who would be interested in creating hybrid courses and working collaboratively across institutions to teach them. Here are the results:

First name
Last name
Email address
Academic department or program
1. Have you taught or are you currently teaching a course that has hybrid components? If so, please provide course title and short description.
2. Would you be interested in attending faculty development workshops on digital skills or pedagogies that facilitate hybrid teaching and learning? If so, what topics are of interest to you?
3. Would you be interested in creating a new hybrid course or transforming one of your existing courses into a course that uses hybrid components? If so, what course and what hybrid components?
4. Would you be interested in collaborating with faculty colleagues at other institutions within the six-member consortium, in developing and delivering courses that have been hybridized in some manner?

11/5/2014 11:59:38
Asst prof of classics
Hope college
Modern and Classical Languages
1. All my courses have some element of this: lectures that a recorded via screencast with short self-grading quizzes on this material. But I have taught sunoikisis before
2. I am interested in creating better materials, better assessment tools, ways to monitor progress, and keeping the integrity of the face to face experience as we hybridize
3. Yes, I have already done this with many of my courses and am looking to optimize this experience
4. Yes

11/5/2014 13:47:22
Assistant Professor and Director, The De Pree Gallery
Hope College
Art and Art History
1. Use technology quite readily in the classroom currently, but no hybrid components as I understand them to be.
2. Yes
3. YesART 360–Special Problems in Art History ART 361–Special Projects in Art History ART 365–Senior Studio Independent Projects Open to incorporating different hybrid components. Especially interested in collaborating with different disciplines (i.e. English, Communication, Philosophy, History, etc.)
4. Yes

11/5/2014 16:04:29
Hope College
International Studies
1. No, I have not taught and am not currently teaching a course that has hybrid components but I am eager and willing to learn. I am of the opinion that I want to engage in “professional development” in this area and learn how to video or screen cast my lectures and interact with my students online with intensive digital strategies that increase peer to peer collaboration as well as my ability to engage with students.
2. Yes. I would be very interested in attending faculty development workshops and learning digital skills as well as pedagogies that would help me prepare such courses. I know my discipline very well and have been teaching at a liberal arts college for the past twenty-three years. I am eager to learn the very “nuts-and-bolts” of a hybrid course - right from preparing the syllabus, engaged teaching, grading, assessing student learning etc. I need assistance with all of these issues and would welcome input.
3. I would be open to either creating a new hybrid course or transforming an existing course. I teach “Introduction to Global Politics,” “International Relations,” “Women in a Global Society,” “Latin American Politics,” “Asian Politics,” “Politics and Society of the Middle East,” and “Gender and Islam.” I would be open to collaborating with colleagues on either of these classes and learning about “blended learning.” I would specifically like to learn hybrid components e.g. acitivities outside of the class that can be performed online or in learning communities.
4. Yes

11/5/2014 19:01:49
Associate Professor
Hope College
1. Yes. I have taught a few hybrid courses. One is a class called Writing for Teachers, which is a course which helps Education students learn how to use multiple genres of creative writing as teaching tools (it is not about expository writing). I have also done hybrid versions of 200 level fiction and nonfiction (personal essay) classes.
2. Yes. Many topics are of interest to me, though I’m am not sure how to generalize them. Also I find that while my creativity, desire, and interest on all of this (hybridizing as well as going fully online) are high (I do love this stuff), my time and energy are too low for me to keep up, educate myself, practice with new tools and techniques long enough to discover good ones, then get proficient with them. I would estimate that 95% of my frustrations (or the things that work against my progress in this area) is like of time, energy, and instructional technology support to enable me to move forward closer to the pace of my imagination. So I’ll list some of my specifics and really on you all to group them with others.I am particularly interested in interesting, visually competent but EASY and CHEAP (since that’s the reality) methods for video production for lessons, from the ground up What can be done without special equipment, studios softwares and so on? Or with a budget of, say $50? And still be effective??I am also interested in course management system supplements or alternatives to Moodle, which I use and continue to find inelegant, visually unappealing, and kind of a straight-jacket for many things I’d like to do. What is out there that is cheap and easy and effective?I am interesting specifically in cheap and easy ways for students to build online collaborative texts or web presences that can be held privately to the course members and/or shared with the general public. Because Hope College restricts students’ access to many Google tools (Blogger, Google+ and all of its functions, for instance), I am looking for alternatives. Again, what are the cheap and easy tools that are the most effective? Also specifically I’d be interested in learning much more about how components of library instruction (particularly for first year composition) could be digitized for integration into such a course (or multiple courses as reminders!). I would love to have someone just take me on a tour of sorts of excellent online sources of educational videos. I know there are collections, banks of these sorts of videos out there, but I don’t know where or what they are, or how to being to do effective searches to find that content and assess it. I am willing to create videos when I need to, but I’d also like to take full advantage where appropriate of things others have already launched. I would like to learn how my hybrid courses can include interesting components that I have no clue how to create. One example: having students watch a video and within the video stop and do minor quizzes to check understanding. Another example: to do a livestream lecture and be able to take a poll. I am sure I will come up with more–so maybe another good faculty development idea would be to build an ongoing community online (facebook group? something like that) where people can talk about questions, and so on, with a moderator or someone collecting ideas for programing or just general responses…. I would love to see such a group create hybridized or fully online faculty development workshops, which we could attend live, or attend on our own time!! Okay, I’ll stop now. Thanks for asking!
3. Yes. I would be interested in “hybridizing” ENGL 113, which is Hope College’s freshman composition class (1 semester). I would also be interested in developing a hybrid version of a 200 level multi-genre creative writing course, and further developing other creative writing courses which I have already done as hybrids but would like to keep improving. Overall, I’m pretty much interested in writing instruction as a hybrid project, so I would also be interested in looking at writing components that could be used across divisions/departments/curricula.
4. Maybe

11/5/2014 20:43:19
Associate Professor of Spanish
Hope College
1. Not.
2. Differents technology to replace traditional classroom activities
3. Spanish 341 Introduction to Literature
4. Yes

11/6/2014 8:52:52
Assoc Prof
Hope College
1. I’ve used screen casts a lot - often review stuff (going over homework sets for example) and posting the video on moodle
2. Yes. Topics of interest would be pretty broad; I guess just hearing other people’s ideas more than anything.
3. Yes - couple of ideas; first, Chem 103 (non-major Intro chem); also - labs where the online part would be the “prelab”
4. Yes

11/6/2014 13:55:55
Hope College
1. Have done flipped classroom.
2. I have more interest is sustainability of tech based courses.
3. Maybe

11/6/2014 17:36:47
Associate Professor
Communication Studies
1. In my Communicating Gender class, I have a few assignments where the students do the reading (and viewing) and writing for a particular segment outside of class and we spend the class time discussing.
2. Yes.
3. Yes. I started trying to do more “Flipped” lessons for my Communicating Gender Class and would like to explore the hybrid idea a little more for other courses I teach or even develop a new one with a hybrid model in mind.
4. Yes

11/7/2014 13:31:20
Visiting Assistant Professor
Albion College
Communication Studies
1. N/A
2. I would be interested in attending faculty development workshops. I don’t have a list of set topics in mind at this moment.
3. I would be interested in seeing how a transformation would occur in both my Public Relations and Introduction to Communication courses, respectively. In my PR course, I would be inclined to introduce more activity-based online components, particularly in terms of the degree to which public relations takes place via social media platforms today. We discuss several of these components in class and talk about various means of creating, distributing, and tracking content, but it would likely be even more beneficial to students to incorporate these into class. In terms of my Introduction course, I could see moving basic elements online, perhaps even including some “flipped” components so that we can practice some of the techniques we cover in class.
4. Yes

11/7/2014 16:13:52
Director of Writing
Albion College
Academic Skills Center (Academic Affairs)
1. I generally teach two kinds of courses: English writing courses (English Composition, and English basic writing) and English language-focused courses (English Language–a course required for Education certification).In both kinds of courses, I have experimented over the past two years with hybrid teaching–and have tried holding some class “meetings” online, with mixed success. In the upper-level course, this move worked well (we used GoogleDocs for online, asynchronous discussion); in my current FY writing class, this plan has not worked very well–nor has having students conduct some of their individual and group discussions on the Moodle courseweb. I’m not convinced that the plan is wrong, but more the implementation–from expectations and evaluation to context within the larger learning arc of the semester.I also taught a fully online English Composition course this summer (seven-week semester)–and learned a great deal about how to frame and invite student engagement with the course content and with one another in the online spaces we inhabited. That course did include two phone conferences, which were also very valuable for both students and me.
2. Yes.I’m not sure that I know enough to say what topics interest me.I’ve experimented and played with hybrid teaching as noted above, and attended weekly faculty discussions as part of the prep for teaching online during the summer. But these areas are newish to me, and I’d be happy to listen and watch and learn from others.
3. I generally teach two kinds of courses: English writing courses and English language-focused courses. I’m interested in exploring new and better ways to integrate hybrid elements in both kinds of courses–esp. in ways so that the hybrid elements augment and complement the classroom elements, and vice versa.
4. Yes

11/7/2014 17:21:59
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music
Hope College
1. I have use some small flipped classroom techniques in my First Year Seminar course that I teach each fall semester, but I wouldn’t say it has been a large part of the course content. I am eager to learn more about the capabilities and implementation of more technology into the classroom.
2. Absolutely. Technology that will bring content to the student outside of class, media storage for specific course use, and video and screen casting of lectures and performances in music. I think the course development in conjunction with other colleagues from other colleges would be very exciting in teaching a standard core course like Intro to Music.
3. While I am not currently teaching “Introduction to Music” I think this would be a great use of hybrid teaching methods. I think digital content would be easy to assemble, flipped classroom techniques like recorded lectures that the students listen to outside of face to face class time and content based contact with outside the college collaborators would make this very exciting. Even live streamed performances would be possible.
4. Yes

11/9/2014 9:38:48
Maas Chair of Reformed Theology, Director Emmaus Scholars Program
Hope College
1. Yes I currently teach a religion 200 course online in May, June, and July, every summer. The course title is “Faith seeking understanding”. It is a survey of Christian doctrine based on the apostles Creed.
2. Yes, I would indeed be very interested in attending faculty development workshops on digital skills and pedagogies. I’m interested and eager to learn new technologies that foster deeper student engagement with textual analysis while at the same time not creating any unnecessary burden on the professor.
3. I would be very interested in developing a hybrid course dealing with questions of theology justice and mission. This would essentially be a version of an existing religion 295 course I teach. I would offer this as a religion 200 general education course.
4. Maybe

11/10/2014 13:52:49
Dr./Associate Professor
Albion College
1. Yes, I have ‘flipped’ in my HIST 102 class as well as a Freshman seminar (The Man Who Would be King) and Honors seminar (We Are Making a New World). I have also had students carry on reflective conversations about their learning via blogs and comments (Freshman seminar). Students in my Honors seminar also blogged, tweeted, and created on-line video content related to a I’ve also used screencast feedback on certain assignments. I’m very interested in having students work collaboratively and/or asynchronously on a Minecraft project in my HIST 252 (Ancient Greece) class. ( I tried this last year in my Honors seminar, but technological limitations on campus made it impossible).
2. Yes. Digital literacies are of special interest to me. I would also like to hear about the research supporting hybrid/blended models of instruction as well as the broader research supporting tech-integration as a path toward more project or inquiry based learning.
3. Yes. I envision using this model in my HIST 102 (Ancient and Medieval Europe) and will certainly be piloting elements of hyprid/blended instruction in HIST 251 (Ancient Greece) next spring.
4. Maybe

11/12/2014 10:48:35
Albion College
1. I will be piloting the course (described above) in spring 2015. It is entitled “Curating Controversy: Creating a Digital Exhibit of Racist Images.” This course will explore American race relations between the Civil War and the 1920s through the prism of a specific set of lithographs housed in the Albion College archives. These images, produced in the late 19th century by Currier and Ives, are known as the “Darktown Comics,” a wildly popular, racist series that has nearly two hundred pieces in the full set. The lithographs offer a window into the evolution of racism in the post-Civil War era; by focusing on the “Darktown Comics,” students will immerse themselves in the manifestation of racism in the cultural realm and unravel the ways that cultural disdain undergirded whites’ defense of their own supremacy.We will employ new tools for the study of history and culture alongside more traditional methodologies. In particular, we will draw on the rich possibilities of digital technology to make the material we are studying accessible to a wider public, thereby serving a greater democratic good than we can achieve within the confines of a single classroom. The course will work towards an end goal of designing an online exhibit that will eventually be open to public viewing.
2. Yes. I am a neophyte in the use of digital technology in the classroom. I would welcome any training in the creative use of digital tools to enhance student learning and engagement.
3. Yes. I am currently designing a history course in which students will develop an online exhibit using lithographs from the Albion College archives. They will learn the digital tools (principally Omeka software) for online curation and will conduct the more traditional history research to contextualize the images and write the text to accompany the images.
4. Maybe

11/13/2014 15:23:34
Associate Prof. of Economics and Chair of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Interdisciplinary Area
Lawrence University
Economics; and Innovation and Entrepreneurship program
1. I have sometimes used a moodle forum for brainstorming and responding to each other’s ideas. I have also recorded several lectures (voice and slides) in game theory which I then made available to students, and they responded very positively to that. However, I envision something different in the future—something more like the “flipped classroom,” and not lecture capture.
2. Yes. I would like to learn more about creating short videos (5-10 minutes at most) on specific topics that could be part of a library that students would use. While I would be interested in this in any form, I am intrigued by the idea of working with an animator to create videos that use the “RSA animation”-style visual note-taking. There are professional services that do this, and if we have several teams who would like to develop such videos, perhaps we would reach efficiencies where we could afford to hire a pro. Each team would develop a script, and then work with the animator in an intensive session to create the video. These could have a branded look, and could potentially become highly visible.
3. Yes, I am very interested in this. I believe that introducing hybrid learning is a natural strategy for liberal arts colleges, and it has very high potential. A major strength of liberal arts colleges is the emphasis on interactive instruction, on the kind of dialogue and intellectual engagement with the teacher that is probably not scalable. By introducing hybrid learning, I hope to be able to spend more of my class time on that kind of interaction. This type of shift would make a liberal arts education more valuable.In addition, while I realize that not everyone believes that digital content generated at liberal arts colleges should be made widely available, I think that there would be a clear benefit to making it available. I believe that liberal arts colleges have many dedicated and highly skilled teachers, and making that high quality teaching accessible more broadly would be a way for liberal arts colleges to contribute more to the social good. This would also help to counteract the perception that we cater to a small elite only. Finally, it would add to our reputations as institutions with great teachers.I have taught a Decision Theory / Game Theory course several times that I think could benefit from hybrid components. These would take the form of short videos (5-10 minutes) that explain important concepts. Students would watch these, and then engage in more interactive problem solving in class, including tackling challenging extensions. Also, I currently have students work in NetLogo to create strategies for an Axelrod style prisoner’s dilemma (PD) competition. I have started working on a version of that competition that would allow students to participate online, without having to code in NetLogo. I would be very interested in working with someone who has significant coding experience to develop this online resource, which could then be used by many colleges. Participation in this online PD tournament could be part of a larger module on the nature of cooperation, which would include several instructional videos, in-class activities, and creating strategies in the online tournament (and analyzing the results).I am also interested in developing hybrid components for introductory microeconomics, or for intermediate microeconomics. I have taught both of these courses a number of times. I have now taught the introductory micro course several times using experiments (the Bergstrom Miller book), and I have found that the increased level of engagement makes for a much better course. I would be very interested in combining that with short online videos that explain basic concepts of economics. I know that there are many such videos, but I have found that they are not up to the standards which we (and I suspect other liberal arts colleges) have in teaching. I would be interested in developing (with others) a library of such videos. In intermediate microeconomics, I have found that doing more problem solving in class makes for better learning. I would be interested in developing videos and perhaps online exercises for that course as well. All of the courses I mentioned (introductory decision and game theory, introductory micro, and intermediate micro) are very common courses and generally found in the curriculum of any university. Thus hybrid components developed in any of these could potentially be adopted very broadly (assuming that they are well done).
4. Yes

11/17/2014 10:28:42
Associate professor
1. I record all of my biochemistry I lectures. I use ipads for exploring protein structure.
2. All of them
3. I am planning on flipping my biochemistry I class and also the introductory chemistry class.
4. Maybe

11/17/2014 12:57:14
Albion College
Ferguson Center for Technology-Aided Teaching & Learning
1. Yes
2. No – mostly interested in the technical infrastructure and support aspect. Although might be interested if someone is working in anthropology, especially sub-cultures.
3. Yes

11/19/2014 12:01:34
associate professor
Lawrence University
religious studies
1. This winter I will be teaching my Quran class with a number of “flipped” elements. The class will be more a reading workshop. However, I don’t yet have the ability to record material for out of class participation.
2. yes, I have already attended the first Teagle grant meeting and I would be happy to do so again.
3. yes, I have given a lot of thought to how I could change my Islam class into a hybrid course that could be offered more often than it now is. The lectures I would like to change into video segments that students watch on their own time. Then I imagine a series of reading workshops in which students work through primary texts with my oversight. There would also be an important place for student assistants, who would be upper level majors, that could help with grading and online discussion. (Thus adding an important new component to the opportunities for senior majors in religious studies.)
4. Yes

11/26/2014 21:30:57
Professor of Biology
DePauw University
1. I have flipped the following courses: BIO215 Cells & Genes (an introductory cellular and molecular biology course; no lab) BIO335 Animal Physiology (upper level course with lab)
2. Yes. Methods for flipping parts of courses.
3. Future courses I would like to flip: BIO101 Molecules, Genes and Cells (a new introductory cellular and molecular biology course; with lab). BIO315 Molecular Biology (upper level course with lab; 30% of this course is already flipped).Other courses I would be interested in flipping but don’t have the resources/time at this point: BIO382 Neurobiology (upper level Neurobiology course with focus on cellular mechanism of neuron function, function of neural networks and cognitive functions; with lab).
4. Yes

11/26/2014 21:35:15
Professor of Modern Languages
DePauw University
Modern Languages
1. Span 131/132–the on-line component is called I-learn. It hosts electronic lab/workbook in addition to the video and other ancillaries.
2. My interests are 1. Deciding which elements of a class are best delivered on-line 2. Developing/using courseware to support the course 3. Exploring international partnerships
3. I already teach a course which relies heavily on on-line components. The course is Span 131/132. I would be interested in taking this course even more into the flipped mode.
4. Yes

12/5/2014 13:30:17
Assistant Professor
Hope College
1. I taught a rehabilitation engineering course this fall that incorporated opportunities to observe and be instructed by clinicians and clinical engineers working in a rehabilitation setting, mostly at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitaiton Hospital. We met with a rehabilitation engineer, observed patients with spilan cord injury and stroke undergoing physical and occupational therapy, and had detailed interaction with professionals in the motion analysis center. We also met with a local woman with cerebral palsy, observed a prosthetic fitting session and saw children with cerebral palsy in a special learning environment. This was augmented by lectures from me to prepare for these visits and teach regulatory requirement of biomedical engineering. Finally, they are completing a novel ‘research’ proposal as the culmination of their experiences.
2. Maybe