Flip your hybrid class

Cyndi Nienhaus, Marian University 

I teach a hybrid course where I meet with students face-to-face once a week and then have them complete work and participate in discussions online throughout the rest of the week.

I noticed that this particular class was a quiet one in the classroom, but had very robust conversations online.

I decided to "flip" the class and do the online work in the classroom and the classroom work online. For example, in the classroom, the students now watch webcasts, read additional articles, and engage in a conversation about the topic in the same format we had done online; online, they now view a powerpoint of the topic of the day and offer additional comments, questions, and insights.

Flipping the class in this manner has allowed my once quiet classroom to become a place where great and rich discussions take place. Our online conversations also have taken on a deeper tone because the students add additional and deeper insights of their learning based upon the in-class conversations.

In an online course, reach out to students

Bruce Rosenbloom, an Adjunct Professor at City University of New York's School of Professional Studies, writes in with some tips for online instructors, taken from a post on his blog, Envisioning Online Learning. Here's one that I particularly like:

 2. Reach out to students. This semester, I tried something that was recommended to me many years ago, but I never attempted: I called my students. At agreed-upon times, I had about a 20-30 minute phone conversation with all (six) students in my capstone course. With a small class this is certainly doable, but please consider it in larger online classes also. The connection with students, feedback about the course, and insights into their lives, was well worth the extra time involved. Generally students appreciate the effort as it demonstrates caring for them as people and interest in their success. Try it and you may find it is one of the best time investments you can make as an online instructor.

For more, check out Bruce's blog on the CUNY Academic Commons, Envisioning Online Learning