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Beyond Hybrid: Integrating Online, In-Class, and Outside-the-Classroom For Better Learning


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As online learning wins increasing acceptance, it’s often blended with classroom work in hybrid models. Making online/offline hybrids work is a challenge, but it can pay off with increased engagement at all higher-ed levels. Adding experiential learning — on-site programs that bring students into the real world — can produce better outcomes in less time with fewer resources. This deck from the New Directions in Online Learning 2014 conference looks at how to blend all three modalities for better learning outcomes.

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Beyond Hybrid: Integrating Online, In-Class, and Outside-the-Classroom For Better Learning

  2. 2. Some Background BU Web Development Faculty MS in Adult Learning and Instructional Technology Focus on integrating technology
  3. 3. EdTrips Leading platform for finding and managing outside-the-classroom programs Used by over 40,000 educators Over 20,000 programs/venues
  4. 4. Creating a New Model
  5. 5. Why Turn to Hybrid? Allows for addressing students hesitant about going “all online” Ideal for adult students who have been out of school for 10+ years, need study skills support Greater connections between institution, community Market as more valuable program Create deeper networking during in-class sessions Improve retention: emotional investment, increasing student support by faculty, and adapting more flexibly
  6. 6. Hybrid: Mixing Online with Classroom BUILDING EFFECTIVE PROGRAMS
  7. 7. Some Considerations to Start Are you adding an online component to a traditional class, adding classroom component to online class, or both? Why are you doing it? Whom is this for?
  8. 8. Who Benefits from Hybrid (online/in- class)? Adult students Traditional students who are: ◦ Working ◦ Parents ◦ Carrying heavy course load ◦ Have strong extracurricular involvements ◦ Prefer working on their own part of time
  9. 9. Who Else Benefits from Hybrid? Classroom faculty who are easing into online teaching Online faculty who want to try classroom teaching (there are some) Institutions that want to attract students who want flexibility
  10. 10. Why Should Online Not Just Be All Online? One of key complaints by faculty: cannot adapt to each class’ unique needs within all-online structure Hybrid More Adaptive • Most of the curriculum stays within online structure • Class time has more freedom to adapt Faculty can tailor to level, goals • Freedom to meet student needs in-class
  11. 11. Why Should Online Not Just Be All Online? One of key complaints of students: feeling alone Hybrid allows online to be more supportive: ◦ Faculty informal advising ◦ Working in groups, in person, with other students ◦ Easier to access on-campus resources if students are already coming to campus
  12. 12. Mixing Classroom and Online Supports students who have been out of school Allows traditional students some flexibility while retaining classroom model Overcomes reluctance of some to go online Syllabus flexibility-in- class sessions can adapt to each cohort Faculty comfort levels Adds options
  13. 13. Exercise Thinking about your own faculty, address how using hybrid programs would impact support for online learning. Thinking about your own students, share some specific examples of student populations who are struggling with retention and may benefit from a hybrid model
  14. 14. Creating Effective Hybrid Programs CURRICULUM, FACULTY TRAINING, STUDENT RECRUITMENT
  15. 15. Where Do We Start? Build a hybrid program from scratch: ◦ Most effective ◦ Least likely to happen Adapt online programs to hybrid: ◦ Easiest to design
  16. 16. Building a Hybrid Program from Scratch Benefit of blank screen Build a task force to identify curricular needs Include faculty, instructional designers, administration, student representatives Long-term design process
  17. 17. Adapting Online to Hybrid Can be simplest course The “heavy lifting” of designing an online program is already done Most online faculty already have in-class experience, so training is less
  18. 18. Adapting Classroom to Hybrid Add online component (about 50% or more) to in-person class Can challenge faculty used to traditional • Training hybrid faculty with same tech as online faculty is essential Instructional design with strong emphasis on making online work Think about what components are essential to keep in classroom Some components will benefit from going online (longer assignments) Some need to stay in class if possible (labs, group work)
  19. 19. Curricular Considerations-Part 1 Who designs it? ◦ Online is often a collaboration between instructional designer, faculty, department chair ◦ In-class is often more up to individual faculty Hybrid works best with online design model: ◦ Faculty leads, but in close collaboration with instructional design ◦ Why? Critical to get online component right
  20. 20. Curricular Considerations: Part 2 What degree programs lend themselves to hybrid? ◦ Few subjects can’t be enhanced with hybrid approach Programs that profoundly benefit: ◦ Business ◦ STEM ◦ Service profession programs (social work, psychology) ◦ Education
  21. 21. Instructional Design for Hybrid Instructional design often more familiar with pure online Best to allow faculty to lead
  22. 22. Combine Classroom/Online in Business Study: “Executive MBA” programs don’t offer the same increase in salary to graduates as traditional. The theory: loss of in-person networking with fellow students, facilitated connection with employers Increasing face-to-face time can close graduate pay gap Student focus on employability
  23. 23. Combine Classroom/Online in STEM Traditionally, lab requirements have made many programs all in-person Creating issues of access Implementing hybrid model can allow STEM programs to be offered flexibly for first time Increases access for under-represented populations, especially adult women
  24. 24. Combine Classroom/Online in Service, Education Better transfer of soft skills Informal mentorship between experienced professionals and emerging Fosters more free-form creative problem-solving
  25. 25. Exercise Where do you see hybrid programs fitting at your institution? How is online learning now structured?
  26. 26. Innovating with Formats BEYOND THE LMS
  27. 27. Assessment Any hybrid course needs to include in-person participation as an assessment criterion Ability to integrate theoretical, practical learning Assess on application of field trip to course outcomes Opportunity to offer real-world style assessment, such as 360- degree, holistic
  28. 28. Integrate Social Media  Students now expect social in the classroom  Especially for hybrid, especially for field trips  Allows not only for deeper connections, but also for more relevant assignments
  29. 29. Simple Ways to Go Social ◦ Allow social posts to be/be part of an assignment ◦ Encourage social collaboration with dedicated Twitter lists, hashtags, Facebook groups, etc
  30. 30. Expanding Assignment Types Again, opportunity to expand relevance Some creative assignments we’ve seen: ◦ Cooperation with employers to allow workplace projects combined with class assignments ◦ Option to use visual design instead of written work ◦ Video, audio assignments
  31. 31. Foster deeper connections with faculty and classmates.
  32. 32. Positioning the Hybrid Program ATTRACTING AND RETAINING STUDENTS WITH HYBRID
  33. 33. Student Recruitment Survey: identify student populations to whom hybrid appeals in your area Segment and target
  34. 34. Recruitment for Hybrid Segment: “Adult Students” is not enough: Working parents Women Employer programs Degree completion
  35. 35. Targeting the “Hybrid” Student Create relevant messaging by audience segment Ensure that faculty are on board If hybrid makes up only part of program, ensure that at least half of foundation courses are hybrid Create outreach, program materials that emphasize responsiveness Dedicated, trained admissions
  36. 36. Integrating Offsite
  37. 37. Adding Offsites Greater connections Apply learning Networking Stronger ties to institution Honors diverse learning styles Adult students especially engage most when they see real- world connections
  38. 38. Brings students back to the classroom energized
  39. 39. Adds a different dimension to learning by making it real.
  40. 40. Opens their eyes to new vocational opportunities.
  41. 41. Makes a hybrid course more immediate, relevant
  42. 42. Tie to Outcomes Identify at least 2-3 course outcomes directly supported by the field trip Create course exercises and materials that connect field activity with outcomes Explicitly include in syllabus—don’t just make it an add-on
  43. 43. What Makes for a Good Offsite? Allows students to apply what they learned, make deeper connections, and see the real-world applications of what they are learning Attracts students to programs by giving additional value Creates real-world connections for students to increase degree benefits Easy to manage Provides faculty with new ways to engage students Sustainable
  44. 44. Search For Trips That Meet Your Criteria Use broad criteria—not just class subject strictly defined, but look to allied subjects: Language arts: • Newsrooms, Author events, Author sites, Museums Visual arts: • Museums, Arboretums, Architect ural sites, Even walking tours of cities Business: • Workplace visit, stock exchange, government STEM: • Service learning, facilities, nonprofit/NGO/Government collaboration
  45. 45. Choosing the Right Program Relevance Accessibility Variety of Levels Site Support
  46. 46. Build Bridges to Community Find a program where you’ll get strong support Host site team willing to work with you Ask for recommendations from faculty Don’t just ask for sites—get content, lesson recommendations
  47. 47. Exercise Develop 2-3 ideas for offsites for a specific course Outline how it might support course outcomes Identify how students might also achieve “soft” learning, such as greater identification with institution, greater connections among cohort
  48. 48. Developing Curricula Around a Field Trip
  49. 49. Hybrid Classrooms: Online Work Online and hybrid classes offer unique opportunities to integrate field trips Online resources and discussions can provide a more powerful framework than in-class lectures Add resources and participate in asynchronous discussion
  50. 50. Hybrid Classes: Online Work Support & Integrate Ensure that they get the most out of the off-site by laying conceptual framework in syllabus If possible, work with host venue to provide real- world tie-in Prep students in pre- assignments in the weeks before class Assign research, essays, online resource- based Incorporate in threaded discussions If lectures are recorded separately for each class, incorpor ate in lectures Build in debrief- related activities
  51. 51. Hybrid Classrooms: In-Class Work Prepare & Connect Have pre-trip discussions and role- playing If possible, guest lectures by host site staff Assign groups that will work together Incorporate into lectures Establish importance to overall learning experience— this is work, not an outing Debriefing session in person, if possible Present group work and individual assignments
  52. 52. Adapting to the Ways Students Learn Social Hands-on Tied to career goals/outcomes Collaborative
  53. 53. Adding Immediacy, Collaboration for Hands-On Learning Create a feeling of confidence in working with hosts Scaffolding Can vary widely between traditional- age, adult students
  54. 54. Exercise: Connecting to Professional Goals Thinking back to the field trip discussed earlier, find 2-3 ways that the program can better connect with students’ professional goals.
  55. 55. Bringing It All Together
  56. 56. Supporting Hybrid Models Instructor training and time: ◦ Often requires less training than pure online; inside faculty comfort zone ◦ Easiest to adapt an online course to hybrid ◦ Best work with instructional designer Staffing: ◦ Ensure adequate time for instructional designers ◦ Admissions should be trained to support ◦ Advisors should be trained on unique needs of hybrid
  57. 57. Use Every Tool to Integrate Field Trips Field trips should be integral to the class, rather than an outing Threaded discussions Assignments Wiki Lecture
  58. 58. Exercise Looking at existing curriculum, address opportunities and impediments to creating hybrid, offsite-centered programs Brainstorm ways to attract students using hybrid programs
  59. 59. Thank You! Blog: @Ed_Trips & @ChristinaInge