With the widespread availability of Internet-based tools for teaching and learning, mode of instruction is no longer restricted to face-to-face. The use of Internet-based tools can be an engaging and rewarding experience for both instructors and students, and sometimes even permits activities and collaboration not possible in more traditional modes. But teaching online requires instructors to re-think the way they organize their courses and the way they impart instruction and orchestrate assignments.
CUNY-wide official designations for Mode of Instruction are as follows:
In an In-Person class, all required class meetings occur on campus, during scheduled class meeting times. Contact includes instruction, learning activities, and interactions (both student-student and student-instructor). An In-Person class where material is provided online, via a learning management system or website, does not displace any of the required contact hours that would normally occur in a scheduled In-Person class. Assignment deadlines and exams days/times are maintained and included on the class syllabus. All In-Person class meeting days/times must be listed in the schedule of classes.
In a Hybrid class, online contact hours (synchronous* or asynchronous**) displaces some portion of the required contact hours that would normally take place in a scheduled in-person (face-to-face) class. Contact includes instruction, learning activities, and interactions (both student-student and student-instructor). A hybrid class is designed to integrate face-to-face and online activities so that they reinforce, complement, and elaborate one another, instead of treating the online component as an add-on or duplicate of what is taught in the classroom. Assignment deadlines and exams days/times are maintained and included on the class syllabus. All In-person and synchronous online class meeting days/times must be listed in the schedule of classes for students.
In an Online class (synchronous* or asynchronous**), all required contact hours are online. Contact includes instruction, learning activities, and interactions (both student-student and/or student-instructor). All the class work, examinations, quizzes, writing assignments, lab work, etc. are fully online. All Synchronous class meeting days/times must be listed in the schedule of classes for students.
*Synchronous: Synchronous classes meetings resemble traditional on-campus In-Person classes in that students must be (virtually) present at the same time. Though they are conducted virtually, synchronous classes meet in real-time. Students must commit to scheduled class times and sign onto their virtual learning platform on schedule. During these classes, students will engage with the instruction during online lessons and presentations and even have virtual class discussions. Assignment deadlines and exams days/times are maintained and included on the class syllabus. All Synchronous class meeting days/times must be listed in the schedule of classes for students. Per best practices, instructors should make effective use of learning management systems for the posting of class materials and submission of class assignments.
**Asynchronous: Asynchronous class meetings do not require you to log in to your virtual classroom at a specified time. Students do not have to follow a strict schedule to engage in live classes or discussions, and the only requirement regarding when they turn in their work is the assignment deadline, not an arbitrary timeline. Assignment deadlines and exams days/times are maintained and included on the class syllabus. Per best practices, instructors should create non-mandatory opportunities for live interactions with and among students.
Background for this Initiative at QC
We have received two grants from the CUNY Office of Academic Affairs to develop a program that aims to expand the number of courses taught as hybrids at Queens College and to provide sustained support for faculty who teach online.
Through a third grant (awarded to us in spring 2016, also by the CUNY Office of Academic Affairs), we worked with six departments at Queens College to expand online and hybrid offerings at the program level.
Our broad goals for this project include:
- institutionalizing and extending an existing set of recommendations for teaching online;
- understanding current trends in teaching online;
- bridging the gap between student and faculty perceptions of the role of instructional technology;
- disseminating what we learn from implementing this program, within Queens, within CUNY, and beyond;
- developing approaches for assessing outcomes for student learning, faculty development, and institutional efficiency.
If you’re considering teaching a hybrid or fully online course, training and support is available through the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, & Leadership (CETLL). Please contact us for more information at CTLOnline@qc.cuny.edu.
- We offer hybrid bootcamps approximately once a year: these are week-long training sessions where faculty work on re-designing a course so it replaces a substantial amount of face-to-face instruction with online activities or virtual meetings.
- We routinely provide one-on-one support on re-designing a full course or designing or implementing specific aspects of an online environment.
- We are available to provide customized workshops to an entire department or part of a department: please reach out us to discuss your needs.