Sign Up for a Guided Course Review Workshop

This CTL workshop on Tuesday, July 9, offers a great opportunity for you to use new course review guidelines to take a close look at a blended, flipped or hybrid course you teach. You’ll be guided through a self-assessment of one of your courses to explore strengths of the course design and delivery and potential areas for improvement. Register now for either a 10 a.m. on-campus session or a 1 p.m. remote session via Zoom. Contact Cub Kahn for more information.

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Hybrid Community Call for Proposals Extended to July 1st

MU Quad at Oregon State UniversityThe Center for Teaching and Learning invites faculty to apply to participate in the Fall ‘19 Hybrid Faculty Learning Community and to design a Corvallis campus hybrid course. Professional development funding is provided. Short proposals are due July 1. See Call for Hybrid Proposals.

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FR 439: FRENCH AND FRANCOPHONE STUDIES

This French upper-division course is required of all French majors and serves as the exit course. It is worth 3 credits and it has always been taught F2F. I am in the process of turning it into a Hybrid course, and soon one of my colleagues will be developing it as a fully online course.  It fulfills the Baccalaureate Core requirement for the WIC category. It does so through formal and informal writing assignments and substantial revisions. Formal writing assignments include drafting and revising a 2000-word paper in French over the course of the term. Informal writing assignments consist of weekly in-class and online short texts in the different genres studies in class, including description, summary, narration, review, argumentation, information, etc. This course also aims to foster cultural awareness and literacy by presenting new voices, issues, and perspectives from France and the Francophone world. Students’ analytical and critical skills will be thoroughly solicited. Active participation is expected.

Unlike my other advanced classes which all focus on content (literature, culture, cinema, history, etc.), this WIC course centers around writing, even though we rely heavily on  texts in various disciplines (journalism, literature, history, film, etc.). So, in class we combine mini-lectures with several writing activities. We also review advanced grammar as it is an essential element of writing.

The course is conducted primarily in French. Each week will be devoted to a specific genre of writing. Tuesdays are reserved for lectures, lessons on writing techniques, student presentations. The online part is reserved to complete writing assignments and peer reviews.

I am convinced that the Hybrid version will improve the quality of this course, thanks mostly to some of the features on Canvas, such as “Collaborations” and “Discussions.” Through experimentation, I realized that specific activities like peer-reviewing are better performed online. Class time will then be devoted to explanation of writing techniques, advanced grammar, and discussions of challenges, problems, etc.

 

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Intro to Athletic Training in the Hybrid Classroom

KIN 511 is the first course that new graduate students entering the Master’s of Athletic Training program take upon arrival to OSU.  We cover the basics of athletic training as an allied health profession, instruct students in simple skills to use once they begin working in their practicum sites, and we set the tone for faculty expectations of student’s engagement in the program and profession.

The development of KIN 511 – Intro to Athletic Training as a hybrid course isn’t taking the “normal” hybrid format.  Due to the nature of this course in the curriculum schedule (first!) KIN 511 will run during the first 4 week summer session.  The course will meet for two weeks solely online and then two weeks we will meet f2f each day for 3 hours (in addition to continued online materials).  This unique schedule has offered some interesting challenges in terms of content delivery and how best to plan orientations and labs through the 2 weeks when students are not on campus.

During weeks 1 and 2 the students will be immersed in online content such as videos, short recorded lectures, discussion boards, assignments, and quizzes.  They are strongly encouraged to recruit family or friends to begin practicing the lab materials that are presented in the videos and are informed that they will be tested in an oral practical on these skills once we meet in the classroom.  Each assignment

During weeks 3 and 4, KIN 511 students will continue working through online modules that continue with the flipped classroom concept by delivery of lectures and videos through Canvas.  The f2f class periods will be devoted to hands on skill practice and labs from the online content previously delivered with time set aside at the beginning and end of each meeting to clear up any “muddy points”.  We will also need to conduct oral practical skills checks to test for competency as our students progress from this course into clinical assignments.

I believe that the hybrid organization of the course will improve upon the lecture heavy delivery that has been utilized in the past.  The new format should allow students more time and space, if needed, to work through course content and to arrive on campus with a clear understanding of the basic knowledge that is necessary to jump into their graduate studies.  The f2f time that we have scheduled allows for so much more hands on learning that we’ve ever devoted in this course.  I’m really hopeful that we will find some bright spots with the new course structure and that both students and faculty walk away from the first session feeling like it was a strong start.

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Hybrid approach to Intro Finance

The course I am converting to hybrid delivery is the introductory course that most business majors and minors are required to take. This class has typically been taught in sections of about 180 students with smaller, accompanying recitation sessions. It has historically been a source of apprehension for most students and not-sought-after by instructors. The material entails vocabulary, concepts, and mathematics that are entirely new to many students. Student performance on exams varies greatly within a given class; Some students will get 100% on the same exam on which a couple of their classmates are dangerously-near the expected result of random guessing. As a result, some students are bored with what they see as the slow, remedial introduction of the material that is simultaneously overwhelming others with its relentless pace and complexity. Teacher evaluations for this course have historically been far below the college and university averages.

The college of business recently began offering this course in sections of 65 students with no recitation session. My plan is to take advantage of this smaller class size to hybridize the delivery, flip the classroom, and change the focus from individual to group work. My reasoning is that students can more easily sort out the variance in their individual ability in this format. Students who require more time and exposure can reread/re-watch the material on their own time without the perceived social cost of slowing down (or dumbing down) a large lecture. Through group discussion and in-class problem solving and case work, students can help each other understand difficult concepts with an efficiency that a single instructor can’t replicate. My efforts in class can be focused on those groups that are unable to complete the work unaided. I anticipate that the class will meet once per week for 1 hour and 50 minutes on either Wednesday or Thursday.

I have begun to test my plan this term and last by instituting groups and by mostly flipping the classroom. The results have been encouraging. In assessments at the middle and the end of last term, students indicated that the course exceeded their expectations in just about every way. Grades in the course were also unexpectedly high. I attribute part of this to increased learning, but most of it to improper calibration on my part. Surprisingly, despite the high grades and general contentment with the course, the SET scores were lower than my most recent scores when teaching the larger sections in the old way. I hope this will improve as my delivery of the new course gains more polish.

The one area in which students were generally dissatisfied last term was the online discussions. This term I am integrating online discussion with class discussion. Students will respond to reading prompts online in posts visible only to their group. But the associated discussion of their answers now takes place in class.

The major steps required to deliver the course as a hybrid are to create the online video and audio content, and to adapt some of the current in-class work to online. The basic flow that I envision for the students is as follows:

  1. Read assigned material
  2. Watch/listen to instructional material online
    • segments of 3-10 minutes
    • some concept explanations
    • some tactical/procedural explanations
  3. Complete basic problem sets or projects individually online
  4. Respond to discussion prompts online
  5. Take small reading-comprehension quizzes in class
  6. Group discussion of responses to prompts in class
  7. Instructor review of last week’s group work
  8. Instructor review of this week’s individual work
  9. Group mini case or problem set completed in class
  10. Reflect on in-class group work online
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Legal Environment of Business

My hybrid course is a version of one of our core business classes: the legal environment of business. This course is taught at the 200 level, so it will have mostly second year students, and is usually around 50 students per class (which makes grading a challenge).

My general approach is to scaffold the students through their legal knowledge:

  1. Basic skills: learning the legal rules (i.e., what are the elements of copyright infringement? what are the elements of a fair use exception and how is it applied?)
  2. Basic skills: reading cases and identifying legal principles from a case that can be applied in a subsequent case.
  3. Intermediate skill: applying legal rules to novel, hypothetical situations.
  4. Advanced skill: assessing the risks in hypothetical scenarios, creating a management response, and defending the ethical and legal implications of that response.

Elements 1 and 2 can generally be done online, though I find it’s helpful to review in person in a short lecture with opportunities for questions.

Elements 2 and 3 I bring into the F2F class room by giving them cases to apply to real life or fictional scenarios and having them write out their legal assessments. They can do this in groups very effectively, particularly when starting out. When they get more advanced, they can do this online and individually.

As they become more skilled at applying legal rules, they can move to Element 4, which I do both F2F (as a learning activity) and online (as a summative assessment).

The biggest challenge for me is making sure that we don’t end up getting bored by repeating this cycle in the same way each week for 10 weeks! I think the structure works really well in a hybrid format, I just want to make sure I don’t end up in too much of a rut.

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Statistical Genetics: Another kind of hybrid

Genes affects most biological traits and often interact with other variables, such as those found in the environment. When we build models of these interactions to investigate what genes and environmental parameters are affecting a particular trait, say human height, it is ideal that we estimate the effects of all the variables simultaneously and that we estimate how certain we are that these variables do in fact affect a trait of interest. Doing such an analysis is not simple and many pitfalls exist. FW 599 Statistical Genetics will guide students through genetic statistical analyses and allow them to show what they have learned in an independent project performed throughout the course. The course will be a graduate-level course with ~15-20 students that will meet once a week in-class. The prerequisites will be a genetics class, an introductory statistics class, and programming knowledge.

The time in-class will be divided into a review of common difficulties students had in last week’s homework assignment followed by a lecture. The lectures will focus on a particular theory of statistical genetic model building interspersed with real-world problems that will be solved by applying the theory using a coded program. The weekly homework will evaluate the students’ mastery of the theory by requiring them to evaluate something about a real-world problem, say the uncertainty estimate of some genetic parameter. The homework assignments, worth 50% of the final grade, will be submitted in the form of a program with explanatory text and will be shared with the rest of the class upon submission. I haven’t found the perfect submission platform, but I’m leaning toward using Gradescope. There is also a way to integrate code and explanatory text where the code is automatically run and output in the text and a document is automatically generated from both the processed code and explanatory text; however, this might be complicated to execute. The point of sharing the code with the rest of the class is to allow students to see possibly more efficient uses of code to execute some analysis. Further, I will be making all my comments in this “public” sphere, and I hope it will encourage discussion among students. Students’ grades will not be public.

In addition to homework assignments, a project, worth 50% of the final grade, will be assigned that can either be done alone or in a group chosen by the students. The project will involve students finding a data set they like, which could be one found online or one they use for their research, and analyzing it using the methodology developed during the course to answer some question(s) about it chosen by the students. The project will be submitted in three phases. The first phase will be a summary of the data set and an evaluation of the possible causal links present or absent in the data. The second phase will be the data set fully analyzed and written up. The third phase will be a presentation of the write up. Similar to the homework, the first and second phases of the project will be submitted such that all other students will be able to see and comment on the work.

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AJ490 Media Law & Ethics

When I took Media Law back at Cal State, Northridge, it was taught by an accomplished, sadistic media lawyer who spent his entire life working with rock musicians, crazy artists, megalomaniacal actors, gonzo journalists; the whole horde of creative vagabonds fueling the media industry in LA. He ruled the class with an iron glove, was a brilliant lecturer, had tons of funny stories, and relied incredibly heavily on our textbook on media law. There were zero writing assignments in the class—it was all tests based on case history (Sullivan vs. NYT, Falwell vs. Hustler, etc.), and if you didn’t know the material like the back of your hand, you shrekked the tests. The class had a forty percent fail rate, and that’s just the way it was—you either knew your stuff or you didn’t.

That’s exactly the type of class I’m trying not to teach at OSU, and precisely why I think the hybrid edge will benefit the delivery of materials. I have nothing against whip-cracking sadists who demand the sky and expect the moon—I get along well with those types—but based on years of observation on our campus, I am convinced this is the least successful mode of delivery.

The best way for OSU students to lock into this material will be for them to engage in hard core classroom discussions once each week, interspersed with guest visits from distinguished figures in the profession, like Steve Clark, Candace Baltz, and Bill Reader of the Seattle Times, and Becca Gose, the General Counsel for OSU.

The class will be divided in two halves: the first will treat media law, the second media ethics.

First Half: Media Law

Following three intensive seminars and interactive quizzes on The First Amendment and libel law, we will move through five important case studies, beginning with Sullivan and moving through Galella v. OnassisBranzburg v. Hayes, Blumenthal v. Drudge, and Hustler, Inc. v. Falwell.

Each week, students will have an assortment of instructor video lectures, required open-source readings, and two objects to view: 1) A mainstream film that focuses on one of the themes of exploration (ck, The People vs. Larry Flynt), and; 2) A slick interactive YouTube presentation on the case studies at hand.

Based on these readings and viewings, the students will have a quick preliminary discussion online, perhaps through a multimedia platform; I’ll decide that a bit further in the game. Then they will come to class primed to engage in fast-paced team discussion scenarios, either holding their own mock trials, doing a pro-con conference forum, things like that. We will spend the entire class in this discussion mode, with a period at the end of the class to synthesize our findings.

Second Half: Media Ethics

I will conduct the second half of the course in a very similar way to the first: readings, viewings and preliminary discussions online, with ancillary viewings of applicable mainstream cinema. Topic matter will underscore the difference between ethics and law; namely, that legality requires us to do things under threat of penalty, while ethics merely requires us to exercise our discretion (if we have any). Do we place pictures of dead bodies on the front page of the paper? Do we take photos of semi-nude film stars sunbathing on a public beach? Do we go through the trash of popular politicians looking for “dirt” to use against them? When do we release the names of minors involved in the news, and how do we protect our sources in general?

On a logistical level, the difference here will be the guest speakers. Thinking this through, I think what I will try to do is cover thematic issues during the first three of four weeks of the back half, and then devote the final week or two of class to the guest speakers, who can present a short 15-minute presentation and then enjoy the experience of being grilled by advanced journalism students. Students can discuss the guest speakers’ presentations online in short, graded discussion board forums.

Conclusion, For Now …

I don’t imagine there’ll be many people taking this course besides the journalism minors (for whom AJ490 is required). It isn’t a Bacc Core class and it isn’t part of the WRII regimen. The students populating the class will be folks who intend to get actual jobs in the media when they graduate from OSU—and I truly love that rowdy gang. Their level of academic maturity is incredibly high, and I have been with most of them for a long time, so our rapport allows for plenty of interpersonal exchange. I think teaching the course through the hybrid platform will be just perfect.

French actress Brigitte Bardot [surrounded by paparazzi] during 1958 Venice Film Festival. Venice, Italy, 1958. Are paparazzi legal? Is what they do ethical? These types of questions will be fundamental for discussion in AJ490.

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ED 494 Standards and Curriculum for Middle Level and High School

My hybrid class is ED494, Standards and Curriculum for Middle Level and High School. The class is 3 credits and runs once a week in the fall, the first term of the Teacher Education program. The students in the class plan to teach middle or high school in a variety of subject areas, i.e. social studies, language arts, health. While the students are new to the teacher education program, they will have already finished a bachelor’s in a content area appropriate for their teaching plans.

The course covers three primary areas. The students learn how to plan their lessons and curriculum using Backward Design and Big Ideas. The students also learn how to write learning objectives as well as lesson plans that include Essential Questions and higher level thinking strategies. In addition, students begin work on their teacher licensing project (edTPA portfolio). I plan to include readings, videos, partner concept mapping, and small group discussions as online assignments. During class, the students will practice writing their edTPA portfolios and lesson plans/learning objectives, and discuss the concepts from their online work.

Last year, I found that the students were challenged by three areas: understanding how to identify the Big Idea of a lesson; addressing the concepts required in writing their edTPA portfolios; and remembering how to identify measurable verbs for learning objectives over the course of the term. This last issue is probably easy to solve by using the online quiz tool in Canvas to keep students practicing how to identify measurable verbs without using up class time.

A hybrid format will fit nicely with addressing the students’ challenge with writing the edTPA portfolio. I intend to build videos to provide online instructions for how to understand the edTPA concepts. Last year it was difficult to help the students from different subject areas write their edTPA, because each area had different concepts to address. The videos will allow students to review their own edTPA requirements. They will also be able to rewatch the video when they are confused. They will come to class prepared to practice writing their edTPA portfolios with partners. The students will also be able to discuss in a small online group how to identify the Big Idea of a lesson. During the following class, they can share their strategies with a larger content group.

After practicing in class, the students will write their own edTPA portfolios and submit online. They will also submit their lesson plans online. The plans will include the Big Idea and measurable learning objectives which they discussed with their classmates online and in class. They will work with partners both online and in class to review the lesson plans and ask questions about the lesson’s Big Ideas.

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Figuring it out as I go… hybridizing WR 324

WR 324 is an intermediate fiction writing class. The prerequisite is 224, Introductory Fiction Writing.  324 is a Bacc Core (though not a WIC) class, so it attracts a mix of students.  Most of them enjoyed the intro class and are looking to fill a writing requirement with 324.  But some are also serious about becoming better writers.

The hybrid version of the class will meet f2f once a week for 80 minutes, with the remaining components occurring online. Our program is in the process of developing a creative writing major, so we anticipate an increased population of students who might appreciate the flexibility of the hybrid course.

This term, I’m teaching 424, the next course in the sequence.  I’ve always had a pretty … basic approach to Canvas, so I’ve been trying to “up my game” as I get the 424 class up and running this week (“spring break” was spent at a conference, followed by my program’s biggest event of the year on Monday, so I’ve started the term already feeling behind… Yikes!).  I am not surprised to discover that I still have quite a bit to learn.  Tasha, who visited our Hybrid Community class, has been a huge help, as have some of the tutorial videos.

I was gratified to read the list of OSU Hybrid Instructors’ best practices, because many of us in the humanities (and other areas too, I’m sure) already approach our f2f class time with “lectures of less than 15 minutes interspersed with other class activities,” “active learning (e.g., think-pair-share, group work),” classroom discussions, and prompt feedback on assessments.  I anticipate continuing in this vein, with my “hybridzing” focusing on group activities that have both an in-class and out-of-class component, as well as integration between the classroom and online learning environments.

For example, I plan on preserving the precious f2f time by putting all reading quizzes online (they take up 10+ minutes at the beginning of class)—and in fact I’m trying that out with the 424 class this term, so I can better familiarize myself with the different quiz question options and formats.

This is what’s exciting to me about the hybrid format:  instead of simply assigning readings and hoping the students will come in prepared, they’ll do quizzes, discussions, and collaborations before they come to class, which—I hope—will mean we can take the conversation very quickly to a deeper and more meaningful level during our f2f time.  AND I can assess how well they grasp the reading before we meet f2f, which will help me figure out how best to approach discussion.

I’m also experimenting with Collaborations this term:  I’ve put students in random groups, with each group working together on a single project in Google Docs. This is something I anticipate using quite a bit in the hybrid 324, so again, I’m glad to give it a try before fall term 2019.  When I really, really hope I will not be scrambling as much as I am right now to catch up…

 

 

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