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What Colour is Your Hybrid Course? Introduction This tool is designed to help teachers make observations about the integrity of a hybrid course from four perspectives: the overall design, how the course is implemented in the first couple of weeks, how it is managed during over the entire course period, and assessments are used to promote accountability and success. Three key tools/frameworks were used to develop the criteria for each of the above components: (1) Essential Elements of a hybrid course

(2) Garrison and Vaughn’s Community of Inquiry Framework, illustrated below

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(3) The three generic models currently used at the college. Legend: IC=In-Class, OC= Out-of-Class OL= Online (Blackboard) In and out-of class learning supported by online activity, typically in Blackboard

A.

A project is developed throughout the course where the weekly in-class learning is essential for the construction of each piece of the project, both supported by online activity typically through Blackboard.

B.

A block of in-class activities are followed by a block of inter-related out-of-class activities, both supported by online activity typically through Blackboard.

C.

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How the Tool can be used There is no such thing as a perfect hybrid course. As such, this tool could be used for a variety of purposes, the end result being that the course is improved by modifications to improve its design, implementation, engagement through active learning, and assessments.

This hybrid assessment tool can be used as a stand-alone independent assessment by the teacher of the course or as a peer/group course assessment tool where the teacher of the course would like some feedback from other teachers in order to modify/improve areas that need attention.

The lists of criteria for each of the four areas are not meant to be exhaustive. Rather, they capture what appear to be the critical elements for learner success and teacher survival (oops, I really meant satisfaction). These criteria will no doubt evolve as we put the tool to test.

A final comment here is that the tool, designed as a performance indicator checklist, gives direction for areas a teacher might wish to address during course development or revision.

Purpose of the Hybrid Course Colour Chart The chart below uses colour as a conclusion about whether the four elements are very weak, weak, strong, or very strong relative to how many criteria were met.

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Achievement Level

D

C

B

A

1. Design

Does not meet essential criteria.

Meets essential criteria.

Meets more than but not all of the criteria.

Meets all criteria.

2. Implementation

Does not meet essential criteria.

Meets essential criteria.

Meets more than but not all of the criteria.

Meets all criteria.

3. Engagement through active learning

Does not meet essential criteria.

Meets essential criteria.

Meets more than but not all of the criteria.

Meets all criteria.

4. Assessment/Evaluation

Does not meet essential criteria.

Meets essential criteria.

Meets more than but not all of the criteria.

Meets all criteria.

.

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What Colour is Your Hybrid Course?

1. Design (Criteria with an asterisk are essential to meet.)

The design of this hybrid course‌. 1.

Uses an explicit hybrid model chosen either from the 3 generic ones used at the college or a customized one (e.g., can draw the model showing the relationship among the in-class (IC), online (OL), and out-of-class (OC) components.

E.g., 2.

Check if Met

, or

, or

, or a combination/modification of these

Includes strategies and instructions for motivating learners to complete in-class (IC), online (OL), and out-of-class (OC) activities and assessments. E.g., Show learners how their assignments relate to the learning activities and assessments relevance). Ensure all activities/assessments have clear instructions that include: how they relate to/validate the course learning requirements, timelines for completion, and where possible, examples of quality assignments. Build in opportunities in the classroom and via the collaboration areas of Blackboard such as the blogs, wikis, and discussion forums for them to motivate each other to get the assignments done.

3.

Includes strategies for building a community of learners. E.g., In-class ice breakers, online blog or discussion board for introductions; use of social media such as blogs and discussion boards in the online part of the course.

4.

Discusses with learners the teacher’s role in the course as facilitator rather than deliverer of content. E.g., Use a clarification exercise so the learners can share their expectations of the teacher, visa versa, and one another. Offer examples of how that facilitator role supports their learning and success as the focus rather than the fact that it is a hybrid course.. Discuss ways the teacher’s facilitator role in this course differs from their other courses/past experiences.

5.

Uses in-class time as a learner-centred environment. This is one of the biggest shifts in how class-time is used in a traditional versus a hybrid course. E.g., Case study activities that build on the pre-class work, discussions based on pre-class prep. Think-pair-share type activities that promote learner engagement in the classroom/lab. Intermittent activities between lecturettes (mini lectures) that help learners digest what they have learned.

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*

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*


The design of this hybrid course….

Check if Met

Using PowerPoint as a learning rather than a content-push environment to stimulate discussion and reflection. 6.

Includes collaboration with faculty who are teaching these students in other courses in order to select appropriate learning, teaching, and assessment tools and methods for in-class, online (Blackboard), and out-of-class activities. E.g., Consults with the program coordinator to ensure students will be able to use the Blackboard areas/tools such as blogs, wikis, and discussion forums, participate in the learning activities such as completing a webquest, and use the assessments tools such as a portfolio included in this course. Shares emails with faculty teaching these students in that semester/level so the expectations are realistic.

7.

Uses learning activities with tools/methods similar to the ones used for the assessments. E.g., Practice opportunities answering multiple-choice tests before taking the actual test; examining a best practice example of a completed project at the beginning of the term before starting to build their projects; practice participating in a discussion forum, blog, or wiki before it counts for marks.

8.

Uses learning activities that invite learners to make connections between what they are learning and the real world. E.g., Guest facilitators (in-class or via web conference using tools such as DimDim or Ning); virtual tours; site visits; connect learners class from another college; exercises that encourage prediction/reflection on how they will use their new knowledge and skills.

9.

with a

Uses the embedded knowledge and skills to select the essential content to be learned. E.g., Blueprint the embedded knowledge and skills across the course section information to show learners how the course outlines “comes alive” through this plan. In all documents and activities, relate the knowledge and skills to the course learning requirements (CLR’s).

10. Includes assessments for (needs assessments), as (formative ongoing assessments throughout the course), and of (summative assessments) learning related to the course learning requirement (CLR) performances. E.g., Weekly validation tests/exercises; case studies; problem-based exercises; learning portfolio; group project using blogs/discussion forums and wikis. Total Criteria Met

Circle the colour of the course design according to the number of criteria met and level of achievement.

Criteria Met

Does not meet essential criteria.

Meets essential criteria.

Meets more than but not all of the criteria.

Meets all criteria.

Level

D

C

B

A

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_____(10)


2. Implementation (Criteria with an asterisk are essential to meet.) Check if Met

The implementation of this hybrid course ‌. 1.

Begins with an orientation to the in-class, out-of-class, and online activities and assessments including how these are connected (minimum one whole class). E.G., Use the course’s hybrid model and the course outline to show how the activities and assessments are embedded in the course. Learners complete a follow-up survey in Blackboard to assess if they understood what they need to do to succeed. Learners complete a Blackboard treasure hunt to explore all of the folders, links, blogs, wikis, etc. This could be a small group activity

*

2.

Identifies learners at risk by the beginning of the 3 rd week of the course. E.g., Include in the tool referred to in No. 2 questions to identify risks that are general across all college programs (e.g., literacy, time management) and those specific to the course (e.g., math skills particular to that course, familiarity with using certain online resources).

*

3.

Has a communication plan for informing the coordinator and Student Success Specialist by the beginning of the third week about learners at risk. E.g., Email the coordinator and Student Success Specialist identifying who is at risk, interventions in place and if there are already some reductions/eliminations of these risks for individual learners and/or groups of learners.

*

4.

Includes a tool/strategy for students to assess their self-directed learning, time-management, and active learning skills. E.g., Use the Test tool in Blackboard for learners to assess their self-directedness, how they manage their out-of-class/online learning time, and their attitudes towards taking responsibility for their learning. Provide a list of resources to remediate difficulties they identified. Set expectations vis-Ă -vis actions they should take based on the test results (e.g.., meet with you within 72 hours if they achieve X or less).

5.

Informs learners of the college resources to manage the identified risks. E.g., Create an area in Blackboard that lists all of the resources learners can use to manage their risks. Use the Blackboard survey tool to get feedback from learners about their use of the resources and whether they helped.

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Check if Met

The implementation of this hybrid course …. 6.

Identifies the knowledge and skill strengths/weaknesses of the group as a whole. E.g., Use a Blackboard survey for a class snapshot of their strengths/weaknesses vis-à-vis knowledge and skills they need to build on in the course. Provide remedial support (e.g., post resources/exercises in Blackboard) based on the results of the survey. Total Criteria Met

_____(6)

Circle the colour of the course implementation according to the number of criteria met and level of achievement.

Criteria Met Does not meet essential criteria. Meets essential criteria. Meets more than but not all of the criteria. Meets all criteria. Level

D

C

B

A

3. Engagement Through Active Learning (Criteria with an asterisk are essential to meet.) Check if Met

This hybrid course engages learners through active learning by…. 1.

Giving explicit instructions and expectations for how learners should prepare for the in-class learning. E.g., Focused reading assignments which includes bringing the notes to class, answer questions related to an article, interview someone about ”x”. Post weekly preparation activities in Blackboard using a common template.

*

2.

Using a variety of tools and strategies that help learners make connections between the in-class, online, and out-of-class learning. E.g., Organize learning units/modules in Blackboard folders that include all resources, including prep for/in-class use and post-class activities. Use blogs, discussion forums, and wikis as book-end activities to connect their in-class, out-of-class, and online learning. Use podcasts to broadcast mini lectures for pre- and post-class learning. Restrict lectures to no more than 15 minutes at a time and use a variety of techniques such as think-pair-share, one-minute paper, or the muddiest point to engage learners throughout the class.

*

3.

Using the communication/collaboration tools in Blackboard to foster interaction and knowledge and skill building. E.g., Use the Announcements and automatic email as reminders for the week-by-week homework, assignments, etc.

*

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Check if Met

This hybrid course engages learners through active learning by…. Match the collaborative tools with the expected learning outcomes. For example, a wiki is great for posting evidence of knowledge building whereas the discussion forum and blog might be better for dialogue and sharing ideas, etc. 4.

Linking each of their activities to the course learning requirements and the embedded knowledge and skills. E.g., Publish in all online and print activities which CLR’s and their embedded knowledge and skills are being attended to. You can use this to guide their reflection on whether they have achieved their learning goals. Refer to the assessment section for more information.

5.

Using their preparation for class (e.g., notes from readings) during the in-class activities. This is an important strategy for linking their out-ofclass/online work with the in-class component. E.g., They start an activity prior to class such as answering the first question in a case study then complete part or all of it in class.

6.

Providing tools such as note-taking templates which help learners cross reference their preparation for and activities during the in-class time. E.g., Create a template that includes a column in the prep and in-class notes for cross-referencing their work.

7.

Inviting the kind of discussion during a lecture that helps learners think about their thinking. This can be a very powerful way of promoting reflection and making strong connections resulting in deep learning. E.g., Use questions that stimulate thinking about your thinking such as how easily/difficult it was to demonstrate prior knowledge in a new situation, examine parts in relationship to the whole, connecting and combining new information, or producing new meaning/ideas.

8.

Taking time during the in-class experience to debrief learning activities and summarize what has been learned thus far. E.g., “Checking in” during class-time about where learners are and use the results to customize their engagement is a powerful way to get the most out of the in-class learning/assessment experience. Polling surveys using Turning Point clickers or simply through their cell phones (e.g., polleverywhere.com) are neat and quick ways to get a class snapshot of where they are at vis-à-vis understanding/application. Every 10-15 minutes, include an activity that informs learners about where they are at with heir learning.

9.

Taking time at the end of the in-class experience to help learners summarize what they learned and how they will use this in their online and out-of class activities prior to the next in-class period. E.g., Use the second-last 10 minutes of class to help learners summarize what they accomplished during the class, what they want clarified, and how they can use the subsequent out-of-class/online activities to complete the learning for that class/unit/module. Use the last 10 minutes to clarify the post- current class and pre-next class work and where this is posted in Blackboard.

*

10. Providing opportunities in-class and online for learners to build their learning community. E.g., Provide informal discussion forums or blogs where they can go to share information and ideas. Keep the ”teacher presence” low or nonexistent in these areas. Total Criteria Met

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_____( 10)


Circle the colour of the learner engagement according to the number of criteria met and level of achievement.

Criteria Met

Does not meet essential criteria.

Meets essential criteria.

Meets more than but not all of the criteria.

Meets all criteria.

Level

D

C

B

A

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4. Assessment and Evaluation (Criteria with an asterisk are essential to meet.) Check if Met

Assessment of learning in this hybrid course …. 1.

Is a continuous process with assessment activity integrated into the in-class, online, and out-of-class components. (i.e., assessment for, as, and of learning). E.g., Provide tools, such as checklists embedded into all activities, that help learners self-assess their progress. Provide a spreadsheet-type tool that helps learners track their progress throughout the course.

*

2.

Uses a variety of assessment tools and strategies to appeal to learners with different learning styles. E.g., Select from independent, cooperative and collaborative tools that match the course learning requirements (CLR’s) and essential employability skills (EES). Although variety is a good thing, limit the numbers of different tools used in the course because too many can get in the way of predictability and consistency.

*

3.

Is aligned with the course learning requirements and the embedded knowledge and skills. E.g., Design the in and out-of-class/online activities as close to the real-world as possible so they inform learners re where they are at with achieving the course learning requirements. Remember that the CLR’s are indeed real-world performances.

*

4.

Includes at least three opportunities for learners to take stock of their progress in the course: by the end of week three, mid-course, and the last or second-last week. E.g., Post a tool in Blackboard that helps learners take stock of their progress at the above bench-marks, including an action plan for attending to areas for remediation, etc. Include these 3 self-assessments in the Blackboard gradebook whether they are for marks or not.

*

5.

Uses Blackboard’s Grade Book to publish learners’ progress. E.g., Maintain an up-to-date gradebook. Use the comment feature in gradebook to communicate your expectations and support to learners. Send Announcements with the automatic email when grades are posted and/ or when you want learners to complete their bench-mark self-assessments.

*

6.

Uses tools/ strategies used in learning activities that are similar to those used in the assessments. E.g., If their ability to collaborate will be assessed, then they need opportunities to practice collaborating during learning activities.

7.

Uses a combination of traditional and authentic assessments with a heavier weighting on the latter. E.g., Combine traditional assessments (weekly quizzes, short-answer in-class assignments) with authentic assessments (learning

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Check if Met

Assessment of learning in this hybrid course ‌. portfolio building throughout the course). Breakup large assignments such a group project into smaller chunks so you can monitor their progress throughout the experience and get direct evidence of their performances. 8.

Uses feedback tools such as rubrics to inform learners of their progress and subsequent actions to improve. E.g., Attach the rubric/checklist to the assignment instructions so learners can use these to guide their performance. Match the assessment tool with the weight of the assessment. A high-stake assessment requires a rubric-type tool whereas a lowstake one could use a checklist. Where possible, provide examples of good and poor assignments. Include expectations regarding what you want learners to do with the feedback on their assessments vis-Ă -vis remedial work, meeting with you or the coordinator, or a Student Support Specialist

9.

Occurs with a turnaround time for marking and feedback of no more than 14 days as per the College Directive E1 on Evaluation. E.g., Ideally, provide feedback on assessments prior to the next ones so they can learn from their results before completing the next assignments/tests.

10. Includes a mix of individual and collaborative assessments. E.g., Create a mix of short, independent weekly assessments such as Blackboard quizzes and longer term cooperative or collaborative assessments. Keep in mind that you can only assess collaborative performance for marks if the related essential employability skill (no. 9) is to be assessed in the course or there is a vocational outcome related to collaboration. Total Criteria Met

Circle the colour of the learner assessment according to the number of criteria met.

Criteria Met

Does not meet essential criteria.

Meets essential criteria.

Meets more than but not all of the criteria.

Meets all criteria.

Level

D

C

B

A

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____(10)


5. Hybrid Review Summary Circle the colour of the 4 areas you assessed. Achievement Level

D

C

B

A

1. Design

Does not meet essential criteria.

Meets essential criteria.

Meets more than but not all of the criteria.

Meets all criteria.

2. Implementation

Does not meet essential criteria.

Meets essential criteria.

Meets more than but not all of the criteria.

Meets all criteria.

3. Engagement through active learning

Does not meet essential criteria.

Meets essential criteria.

Meets more than but not all of the criteria.

Meets all criteria.

4. Assessment/Evaluation

Does not meet essential criteria.

Meets essential criteria.

Meets more than but not all of the criteria.

Meets all criteria.

Suggestions for how to uses the results of your course assessment: A. In the chart above, circle your findings for each of the four areas you assessed. B. If you have circled “meets all criteria�, you are sailing and probably need very little course revision. C. If you meet the essential criteria, your next steps will be to see how you can meet some of the other criteria listed to enhance the quality of your hybrid course. D. If you have more than one area that needs attention, decide which takes priority. For example, if the design is weak, that has no doubt impacted on one or more of the other areas. So, it would make sense to attend to the course design criteria first.

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E. It is wise not to try and attend to multiple criteria all at once. That’s where an action plan is helpful to help keep you sane and be satisfied with the results of your revisions. F. Have a peek at the resource list at the end of this document for support with your hybrid revisions including contacts in the Centre for Organizational Learning, Learning Resource Centre (Library), and Blackboard Support and for online/print resources.

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6. Resources to Support Your Hybrid Revisions A. Centre for Organizational Learning B. Learning Resource Centre C.

Blackboard Support

D. Online Resources E.

Print Resources – Suggestions Only D.R. Garrison and N.D. Vaughn (2008). Blended Learning in Higher Education: Framework, Principles, and Guidelines. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Curtis J. Bonk and Ke Zhang (2008). Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, & Doing. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

The following are available upon request from Gail Allan (allang@algonquincollege.com) - A set of curriculum templates to help with the overall and week-by-week design of a hybrid - A hybrid course learning contract for students to help them with time management and developing/improving self-directed learning skills - A hybrid planning guide for creating the course syllabus - Templates for students to organize their pre-class readings and their in-class activities

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What Colour is your Hybrid Course?