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Online and Blended Course Delivery

Additional Resources

Defining Course Delivery Options

  • Online Asynchronous Courses: These courses are delivered 100% on the Web. Instructors prepare and organize content, design and provide guidance for activities for engagement, interaction, and assessment of learning, and provide regular communication and feedback for growth and improvement. Students read, view, and respond to materials on their own schedule, meeting established deadlines and benchmarks, and engaging in both student-instructor, and student-student interactions throughout the term. There are no scheduled course meetings, but students may arrange to meet with the instructor and/or with student groups as needed. **NOTE: Select this option only if you plan to have no scheduled synchronous meetings with the class at all. 
    • Asynchronous delivery maximizes flexibility, but faculty members need to provide all course organization and structure, and they need to create routines for students and encourage students through regular communication to follow those routines. Instructors may have more online materials to maintain and ensure accessibility, and instructors need to build spaces and activities for interaction and engagement among students in order to foster a true learning community.
    • Find out more about Designing for Online Course Delivery
  • Online Synchronous Courses: These courses are delivered 100% on the Web. Instructors prepare and organize content, design and provide guidance for activities for engagement, interaction, and assessment of learning, and provide regular communication and feedback for growth and improvement. Students read textbooks and other course resources and do homework on their own schedule while meeting established deadlines. Students and the instructor meet together through Blackboard Collaborate Ultra from the location of their choice during regularly scheduled course meeting times. 
    • Synchronous delivery has a built-in structure and routine, but cameras sap energy, and instructors need to project extra energy and enthusiasm in order to keep students engaged. Synchronous class meetings may be competing with environmental distractions and the temptation to multitask, so courses need to build in regular (every 5-8 minutes), interactive activities to set the expectation that students will also bring their full attention to the course. It may be difficult to maintain that instructional energy consistently two or three days per week.
    • Consider using strategies of Flipped Classroom Design
  • Flexible Face-to-Face or Online (HyFlex): These courses are delivered with the greatest flexibility for students, by giving students the choice to attend face-to-face, in a live virtual meeting, or asynchronously through recordings on the Web. Students choose how to attend day-to-day, while instructors teach in a face-to-face classroom with technology to host the course virtually and record it for later. Instructors prepare and organize content, design and provide guidance for activities for engagement, interaction, and assessment of learning, and provide regular communication and feedback for growth and improvement. Students read textbooks and other course resources and do homework on their own schedule while meeting established deadlines. Students choose to meet together with the instructor and classmates during regularly scheduled course meeting times or to follow along with the recordings and other materials at the time of their choice. Instructors use a scheduled classroom to gather face-to-face students while using a Webcam and microphones to reach remote students through Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. 
    • Flexible Face-to-Face or Online (HyFlex) has a built-in structure and routine. HyFlex courses offer students options for coming together in a classroom in accordance with social distancing guidelines or attending remotely--either on the schedule or not. In such courses, faculty members need to organize and prepare technology strategies to ensure that students in both cohorts can effectively participate in the synchronous course meeting, and they need to ensure that recordings and other resources are available for asynchronous students. More pre-planning is needed to ensure that students have comparable experiences no matter which way they choose to attend, and more materials will need to be shared online prior to class sessions to support remote students and provide a backup for technology issues.
    • Blackboard Tips: Flexible Face-to-Face or Online Courses

Online and Blended Classroom Options: online asynchronous, combined online, online synchronous, face-to-face and remote students. Comparison chart of flexibility in time and type of access, pre-existing organization, required content preparation, accessibility, communication needs