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Choosing Wisely & Widely: Implementing Hybrid Flexible Pedagogy to Engage Student Choice, Meet Course Objectives, & Avoid Class Cancellations


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This presentation was given at the South Carolina Technical Colleges 2-day October Institute and focuses on the strategies and methods around developing a hybrid-flexible course that empowers student choice and autonomy.

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Choosing Wisely & Widely: Implementing Hybrid Flexible Pedagogy to Engage Student Choice, Meet Course Objectives, & Avoid Class Cancellations

  1. 1. Lance Eaton Instructional Designer Brandeis University @leaton01 Choosing Wisely & Widely: Implementing Hybrid Flexible Pedagogy to Engage Student Choice, Meet Course Objectives, & Avoid Class Cancellations Presentation Resources-
  2. 2. How many of you have: • Cancelled a class because of weather/personal issue? • Had students need to miss a class? • Jettisoned important material because of loss of time? • Acknowledged the learning content is dull? • Felt students were unprepared for your online course? • Felt student(s) had too many artificial barriers (not of their making) in their way? Some Questions Presentation Resources-
  3. 3. Introduction • 11 years teaching at community college • Graduate of a community college • Instructional designer at a community college (5 years) • Doctoral student – UMASS Boston Presentation Resources-
  4. 4. Outline for this workshop • How I Got to Hybrid Flexible • The Students • What I Did With Hybrid Flexible Pedagogy • Breaking down hybrid flexible pedagogy – Assignments – Content – Format & Activities • Lessons Learn • Other choice strategies • Where to go from here • Questions • The Answer to Life, The Universe, & Everything Presentation Resources-
  5. 5. Conversation Starter Source: Imgur Presentation Resources-
  6. 6. How I Got Here • Students – Independent – Attentive – Territorial – Agreeable – Aloof – Hyper-focused – Irritable – Curious • Technology – Embracing Asynchronicity • Frustration with traditional artificial barriers – Personal disclosure: I hate desks. Presentation Resources-
  7. 7. The Students The Student Whose Had Fuel Added to Her (Crisis) Fire The Student Who Could Either Learn or Work The Student Who Wasn't Ready for Online How many of us have had one or more of these students? How did you resolve these challenges? Presentation Resources-
  8. 8. Source: Ryan Tyler Smithright Source: Beverly & Pack Source: Alberto G.
  9. 9. Hybrid Flexible Pedagogy A course designed to empower students to determine where and how they learn best. Hybrid means mixing face to face (F2F) with online learning. Flexible means students choose their learning format (online vs. F2F), their content, and their assessments within reasonable limits. Presentation Resources-
  10. 10. How the Course Works Useless Aside: This format looks like a pizza. CLASS ENDS Path 3: Self- Selected Hybrid Face-to-Face Lecture Discussion & activities Blog Online Video lectures Online Discussion Blog START CLASS HERE Presentation Resources-
  11. 11. Assignments Progression of Hybrid Flexible Design Content Format Presentation Resources-
  12. 12. Assignments • Let students blend their strengths with your expectations • It’s all about the objectives/outcomes • Good objectives/outcomes create good options Source: Buzzfeed Presentation Resources-
  13. 13. Assignments – My Course Outcome A. Identify the historical origins of the United States’ diverse cultural & intellectual traditions from the Civil War to the end of the 20th Century. B. Connect the influence of historical, cultural, and intellectual traditions upon on another as they relate to American Literature from the Civil War to the end of the 20 th Century. C. Communicate clearly the student's own and others' close readings of American literature. D. Analyze types of literature (e.g. speeches, essays, poetry, fiction, treatises) for subtext, symbols, and patterns relating to American identity and culture. Presentation Resources-
  14. 14. Activities – My Assignment Outcomes Research Assignment 1. Researching at the college level. (A, B, D) 2. Constructing a complex argument using relevant information and evidence. (A, B, C, D) 3. Writing or speaking to adult audiences. (C) 4. Critically engaging with a field’s intellectual traditions and expectations. (A, B, D) Presentation Resources-
  15. 15. Activities – Research Assignment 1. Article Analysis 2. Context Research Essay 3. Author Research Presentation 4. Author Research Essay 5. Story Research Presentation 6. Story Research Writing 7. Pitch Your Own Presentation Resources-
  16. 16. Activities - Group Activity 1. Identify a particular learning outcome/objective in a given course. 2. Come up with 5 different ways to assess that outcome. 3. Share with another person. See if they can come up with 2 more. 4. Add to Google Document 5. Share the objective; tell us at least 2 new ways you’ve thought about assessing this. Presentation Resources-
  17. 17. Activities – Tools 1. A good set of guidelines with specifications for each assignment. 2. Learning management system or other relevant tools for hosting assignments. 3. 2-3 deadlines 1. Identify assignment 2. Rough draft 3. Final draft 4. Rubrics Presentation Resources-
  18. 18. Content & Choice Is there really only 1 piece of content that can help my students achieve the objective? • No. Where are places where I might find great content for my objectives? • Internal resources (Library, department resources) • Disciplinary resources • Open Educational Resources • Online resources What forms & media formats might be conducive for my students’ learning? • Textual (books, websites, journal articles, etc) • Comic • Audio (podcasts, audiobooks) • Video (documentaries, YouTube channels, archival video, instructional series, TED Talks) • Interactive platform (simulations, video games, augmented reality programs)
  19. 19. Content – American Literature 1 1. Restructured literature to genres (first person accounts, essays & tracts, fiction, & poetry) and centuries (16th – 19th centuries) 2. 1 Required Reading 3. 2-4 self-selected readings 4. Identified readings at least 1 week before Presentation Resources-
  20. 20. Content – Activity 1. Identify a course topic. 2. Identify content used to convey the topic. 3. Identify at least 5 other resources you could use for that same topic. (Yes, you can use the internet) 4. With partner, decide which one is the more challenging topic. 5. Together, try to find a total of 8 items (including the original 5). Bonus challenge: Find at least 3 different formats 6. Add to Activity 2 Google Document 7. Take a break. Presentation Resources-
  21. 21. Content – Tools • Content Tracker • OER Commons • OpenStax • YouTube • Internet Archive • Merlot • Library databases • Discipline-related resources • College Websites/Resources • Government websites & databases • Edited Open Content
  22. 22. Format – Face-to-Face/Online • Both/And, not Either/Or • We can achieve much in both arenas • Instructor as connector Presentation Resources-
  23. 23. • Attendance 1st class mandatory • Week prior: students fill out form for attendance/readings • If attending one F2F class; split the difference with activities • One space where all students meet (the blog) • Class discussions informed F2F & vice versa Format – My course Presentation Resources-
  24. 24. Format – Activity • Identify all the different activities that you typically do in a course. • For each activity, determine at least 2 ways you might try to recreate them in an online environment (if you can find more than 2, great). • Add them to the form. Presentation Resources-
  25. 25. Format – The Tools • Learning management system • Mini-lecture recording tool (Screencast-O-Matic) • Platform for videos (YouTube) • Attendance management tool (Google Form) Presentation Resources-
  26. 26. Format – The Challenges • Takes time to build. • It takes a lot to envision • Explaining without overwhelming. • Getting everyone on the same rung. • It can be overwhelming to plan and execute. Presentation Resources-
  27. 27. Presentation Resources-
  28. 28. Format – The Benefits • No class cancelations • More engaged classrooms • Opportunities for closer connections • More creative activities • Opportunities to expand without losing other things • Unseen departures and redemptions Presentation Resources-
  29. 29. Advice/Lessons Learned - Designing • Tackle the process slowly. • Use your instructional designers & communities of practice. • Find the right tools for you. • OER Is Your Best Friend • Make sure you are accessible. • Have 1 or more spot-checkers. • Embrace the fear. Presentation Resources-
  30. 30. Advice/Lessons Learned - Teaching • Prime the students (flyers/emails) • Face to Face 1st class. • Quiz to go online. • Return to class policy. • Own mistakes & hiccups. Presentation Resources-
  32. 32. Where to Go From Here • Folder Resources • Content Tracker Template • Flexible Hybrid Course Map
  33. 33. THANK YOU! Lance Eaton Instructional Designer Brandeis University @leaton01 Presentation Resources-