Online and Blended Classroom Options asynchronous, combined synchronous/asynchronous, synchronous, blended two-way delivery

Online and Blended Course Delivery Options for Faculty

Additional Resources

The Spartan Safe Start plan for Fall 2020 is a strategy for prioritizing safety while maintaining access and excellence in our academic programs. For faculty, the Safe Start plan offers a choice of course delivery options to balance your course design, teaching strategies, learning outcomes, and safety needs. 

By being prepared for a Safe Start, USC Upstate faculty will have the flexibility to respond to a spike in cases should that happen this fall. It will allow us to be ready to move to completely remote instruction if necessary or transition more students back to campus should the pandemic become less of a threat.  

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. Once you go fully asynchronous, you lose your course schedule and cannot call the students back to the scheduled time.
  • 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. 
  • Blended Two-way Delivery: These courses are delivered simultaneously face-to-face and 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 during regularly scheduled course meeting times. 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 or Polycom. Either the instructor or the students may participate remotely.

 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

 

Comparing course DELIVERY OPTIONS

Each mode of delivery offers advantages and trade-offs for faculty members.

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. 

Synchronous delivery (whether fully online or blended two-way delivery) has a built-in structure and routine, and both students and faculty attend during regularly scheduled course meetings. Blended courses offer students options for coming together in a classroom in accordance with social distancing guidelines or attending remotely.  However, 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. More pre-planning is needed to ensure that both cohorts have comparable experiences, and more materials will need to be shared online prior to class sessions to support remote students and provide a back-up for technology issues. 

 

Essential Tools for Online and Blended Course DELIVERY 

As the provost notes, even if you plan to teach fully face-to-face, some students may need to participate remotely for part or all of the term, and students in the face-to-face classroom will be separated from you and each other to maintain appropriate social distancing. You will need to establish alternatives to handing out paper resources, collecting papers, and even sliding desks together for small group work.

Teaching techniques that establish a strong virtual welcome, introduce both you and your students to each other, and organize instructional materials online will ensure success for you and all your students throughout the term.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Webconferencing for Synchronous Online & Blended Two-Way Delivery

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Webconferencing can be accessed as a participant or moderator from a computer or your smartphone through the Blackboard Instructor App. Students can turn off their video to conserve bandwidth or to maintain privacy if they are working in an environment with children or others, but the greatest benefits of synchronous meetings come from creating presence and community by seeing each other. 

During Collaborate Course Meetings
After Collaborate Course Meetings

TechSmith Relay for Creating Lecture Videos & Narrated PowerPoint Lectures

Professional Development opportunities 

  • The USC Upstate Online Teaching Certification Course is a four-week, asynchronous online course designed to give faculty members the experience of learning in the Blackboard online learning environment while learning principles of online teaching and developing practice materials as an instructor in a "Sandbox" or sample course. The course is led by facilitators who give regular feedback on course design tasks. Most faculty members complete course requirements in 12-15 hours, but those who need additional assistance setting up Webcams and microphones or using Blackboard for the first time may need additional time one-on-one to build core technology skills. Our next facilitator-led online teaching certification course begins on September 21. Register HERE.

  • Self-Guided Course: Teaching Online @ USC Upstate. Alternative Certification for Online Teaching. Rolling Enrollment: SELF-ENROLL or email academicinnovation@uscupstate.edu to request to join the course. Do you need online teaching certification, but you feel comfortable enough with Blackboard tools that you do not need to practice building a course with the support of a course facilitator? By the completion of this 6- to 8-hour self-guided course, you will be able to
    • Describe the different types of online learning
    • Identify best practices for online courses
    • Compare the different types of presences needed in an online course
    • Select and use tools to support your curriculum
    • Organize your course content on Blackboard in a clear, consistent manner
    • Create engaging course content
    • Access information about support services for students at USC Upstate

  • Self-Guided Course: Remote and Online Communication Principles for Teaching and Learning Success. Rolling Enrollment: SELF-ENROLL or email academicinnovation@uscupstate.edu to request to join the course.
    This 3- to 4-hour self-guided course aims to prepare you with best practices, tips, and tools to help you communicate more effectively and efficiently in remote and online course settings. The course is self-guided, meaning you schedule work at your own pace and complete application exercises with automatic feedback or rubrics for self-assessment. By the end of this course, you will be able to 
    • Design a welcoming course environment, 
    • Maintain an engaging instructor presence,
    • Foster an interactive learning community,
    • Provide meaningful feedback to promote growth mindset, and
    • Deliver an inclusive, accessible, and equitable course.

Upcoming Virtual Workshops

  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Webconferencing Basics,
  • Engaging Students with Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Interactive Tools, 90-minute virtual workshop: July 20 10:30-12, July 27 10:30-12, Aug. 3 10:30-12, Aug. 10 10:30-12, Aug. 17 10:30-12 and 3:30-5, Aug. 24 10:30-12, Aug. 31 10:30-12, Sept. 7 10:30-12. Register HERE.
  • Teaching Blended Two-Way Delivery Course Sessions: July 29, Aug. 5, Aug. 12, Aug. 19
  • Recording PowerPoint Lectures in TechSmith Relay,
  • Using TechSmith Relay Video Lecture Quizzing and Conversations, and
  • Using the Blackboard Grade Center for Effective Feedback.