A Hybrid Version of CH 607: Chemical Safety Seminar

Our students’ safety in the laboratory is our top priority in the Department of Chemistry. We are excited that starting this winter term we will be able to offer the CH 607: Chemical Safety Seminar course in a hybrid format, thanks to development support from the Hybrid Learning Community.

This course is required for our incoming cohort of graduate students, typically about 25. We believe the new hybrid format will be a perfect fit for the course as it will lead to more variety in student interactions with the course material and each other. This will be achieved through the use of online videos, quizzes, assignments, and course discussion posts. In addition to these new interactive online course materials, there will be in-person guest lectures from OSU’s Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) personnel as well as a tour of the EHS hazardous waste disposal facility.

Students completing the course will have met all the EHS requirements to conduct laboratory work at OSU. In addition, they will have gained vital knowledge about chemical safety and will thus be equipped with the tools to continue the strong safety culture maintained in the Department of Chemistry.

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Do you want to know where puppies and kittens come from?

Fundamentals of dog and cat breeding will be taught in ANS 456: Companion Animal Production. Concepts covered include housing, feeding, breeding stock selection, and as well as biology and environment management from estrus through parturition to weaning. Due to the nature of this class, a variety of animals may be present during weekly classroom meetings.  While precautions will be taken, any contact with animals carries some risk of injury or illness. The course is limited to 70 students with senior standing. As a hybrid course, classroom and online learning activities will be integrated. Half of the classroom time is replaced with online activities. Students will spend an average of 2-4 hours a week working with online and other course materials.

The general objective of the course is to increase each student’s proficiency and knowledge in the areas of management, nutrition, physiology, breeding, health, and marketing as related to companion animal production.  The student should be able to integrate the principles of breeding, feeding, management, and marketing in a progressive and innovative manner and apply these principles to solve current and future problems in companion animal production. General learning outcomes include:  1) Understanding the housing requirements and strategies available for dogs and cats; 2) Understanding nutritional demands at various stages in companion animal production; 3) Recognizing the importance of the methods to improve reproductive management and optimize reproductive efficiency in a kennel or cattery; 4) Developing an appreciation for the place and importance of responsible companion animal production. Module-specific learning outcomes can be found in the course overview in the syllabus.

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Take this class to win trivia night!

Antarctica: Can you spot the four “spheres” in this image?  A bonus point for a fifth sphere!

Bored flying cross-country?  Do long road trips in the car drag on endlessly?  After completing GEOG 102: Physical Geography, you will be fighting for the window seat on the plane or demanding that your friends to take the long route to your spring break destination.  Come trivia night, your friends will beg you to be on their team.

In GEOG 102 we explore the surface of the Earth through five interrelated themes:

  • An introduction to the essentials of geography – exploring basic geographical concepts and ideas.
  • The energy-atmosphere system – incoming solar radiation drives earths physical systems influencing weather and climate patterns and living things.
  • The hydrosphere – the distribution and circulation of water in the atmosphere and hydrosphere influence weather and determine the water available to us and all living things.
  • The Earth-atmosphere interface – the Earth’s surface is shaped by internal and external processes that create the landscape around us.
  • Soils and ecosystems – Soil is the link between plants, the lithosphere and the rest of earths physical systems;

This is a Baccalaureate Core Course  (physical science with lab). Many non-science majors take the class to meet Baccalaureate Core requirements. It is also gateway course to our new BS in Geography and Geospatial Science for undeclared majors.

On campus enrollment ranges from 120 to 170 students per year.  Our once a week in-person 80-minute lecture combines with reading the textbook, completing online assignments and quizzes and attending labs to create a student-centered learning experience. Students have the choice of hardcopy or etext.  They have access to an extensive online Pearson Mastering Geography library  of video material, quizzes and other learning exercises managed by the instructor.

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My hybrid course in a nutshell – Intro to Environmental Economics & Policy

My course is an introductory course to microeconomics with applications to the environment and environmental policy. The course focuses on solutions to environmental problems as seen through an economic perspective. Students will learn to use economic models and intuition to analyze i) market equilibrium, ii) environmental policy interventions in markets, iii) the benefits and costs of environmental policy, and iv) the role of competition in markets. The course emphasizes problem-solving skills and application of basic economic models to environmental problems.

The course is hybrid design with significant online material and complementary face-to-face learning. Online learning material consists of traditional lectures in video format, student discussion boards, and an online problem-solving homework management system integrated with the course textbook. Video lectures introduce and teach core economic ideas, concepts, and applications in a traditional slide-based manner. Discussion boards ask students to analyze basic economic applications and the role of assumptions in economic modeling. Online homework allows students to develop their economics skills through focused quantitative problem-solving exercises that encourage learning through the offering of repeated attempts at alternative versions of graded problem sets.

Face-to-face learning activities are designed to complement rather than repeat the online learning material. Face-to-face learning consists of experiential classroom experiments, question-and-answer time for difficult concepts, group problem-solving activities, and classroom discussion. Classroom experiments are interactive exercises that illustrate key points from the online video lectures and readings. Question-and-answer time allows students to ask questions over difficult material from the video lectures, or allows the instructor to highlight and expand on key concepts from lecture. Group problem-solving activities allow students to work together in small groups to solve economics applications, with instructor guidance. Finally, classroom discussion time allows for extensions off online discussion board and applications to current events in the news that relate to class material.

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Redesigning MGMT 455 (Influence and Negotiation) as a hybrid course

Hello everyone,

I am redesigning MGMT 455 (Influence and Negotiation) as a hybrid course that meets once per week. Enrollment will be capped at 45 students. Most students will be College of Business, Management Major Seniors.

The overarching goal of this course is for students to learn about the psychology of influence and persuasion and be able to skillfully apply this body of research to negotiations in organizational contexts to solve problems and get things done collaboratively.

This course is organized around a series of experiential negotiation roleplays (one roleplay per module) that all students to apply course materials and develop/test their skills and knowledge by negotiating with their peers.

  • Students begin by completing required readings and online video lectures (including online quizzes).
  • Students then prepare for the negotiation roleplay online by writing a roleplay preparation paper in which they apply module readings and videos to prepare for the in-class roleplay negotiation activity.
  • In class, students share their individual roleplay preparation papers, compare their approaches and understanding of module materials (first in small groups, then with the instructor and class as a whole)
  • Next, students actually negotiate the roleplay with other students (who have the opposite role) and observe other pairs negotiate.
  • Once everyone has a chance to negotiate the roleplay (and observe other students negotiate) we debrief the roleplay in small groups and as a whole class focusing on understanding of course materials and emerging negotiation and influence skills
  • The cycle ends with students writing a debrief paper in which they apply course materials and assess their own skills and understanding as well as those of peers they interacted with.

This cycle repeats 5 times (via 5, two week modules) and is capped with a final exam and paper.

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A hybrid version of River Engineering in a nutshell

River Engineering and Restoration (BEE 446/546) is a design-based course in which students conduct field work, hydraulic modeling, and design calculations for a river restoration problem out in the community. Example projects include a small dam removal, replacing culverts that were a fish passage barrier, streambank stabilization and habitat restoration, and side channel habitat restoration. Because it is a slash course and because it attracts ~50-60 students from a wide range of disciplines (engineering to ecology), students arrive with very different levels and types of relevant knowledge and experiences. In addition, because the work load of redesigning the class each year for a new design project is so high, I would like to re-imagine the course to move the content that is repeated each year outside of the classroom so that students can work through that material at their own pace. By moving this lecture material online, I will plan to use our class time for working through lecture materials specific to the design project, example calculations for all lecture material, guest lectures, field work, etc.

The class will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 80 minutes each. To identify the split of content between online and in class, I tried to identify online material as that which students would review at their own pace, emphasizing the more theoretical and conceptual lectures that some will have already seen in other classes. The goal is for the online content is that students arrive in class on Tuesday with a similar level of knowledge after reviewing and being quizzed on background materials (e.g., recorded lectures, readings, quizzes). In-class content will then emphasize materials that are likely be new to all students, emphasizing engineering design, example calculations, and content that cannot be delivered online (e.g. field data collection, guest lectures, case studies). In this model, the online content will provide the theoretical foundation for diving deeper with in-class content on design. I have organized the schedule into weekly modules, where each week represents a central theme in understanding river processes and design.

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How I will “spice up” my hybrid course instruction

The pitfall I chose to address was #3, “Sage on the Stage”. Although I feel all of the pitfalls mentioned were important, I think it will be difficult for me as an instructor to move away from the podium style lecturing to a more collaborative way of educating. Even though I know it will be challenging, I am excited for this opportunity to improve the quality of my teaching and the ability for my students to synthesize and retain the information presented in the course.

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Avoiding Pitfall #1: Upload your course materials, then call it a day

I agree with the author of Five Common Pitfalls of Online Course Design that it can be a big–and perhaps all-to-common–mistake to simply transfer all the course materials to an online format and assume this will suffice. When I co-developed a hybrid version of CH 231 (General Chemistry), we were adamant that we would record short topical videos and avoid simply setting up a video camera to record a regular one-hour lecture to upload. This would have just resulted in the same (or perhaps slightly worse) experience for students. Instead it was important to realize what has been emphasized in the aforementioned article: That the typical, traditional course fare is best not transferred directly to an online format without some serious adaptations.

I hope to avoid this pitfall with the course I am currently developing, CH 607 Chemical Safety Seminar, and am considering this with respect to the quizzes in particular. With the previous traditional course format, I was limited to what I could print on paper, and I want to avoid simply creating an online analog of those paper quizzes. One intriguing option would be to include a short video clip of a chemical safety issue and ask students to watch it and identify what the laboratory worker is doing wrong. Photographs could add a lot of dimension to the quizzes as well and could communicate the message in a way text cannot. We have photos available from previous safety inspections of our laboratories, and including these could make the issues much more relatable than when discussing them in general terms.

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Make it personal. Assignments that focus on individual growth and helping others

Online Course Design Pitfall #5: Ignore the ways students learn from each other. 

I try to avoid this pitfall by creating flexible assignments that focus on personalized learning outcomes rather than specific assignment instructions. For example, I create fairly open ended peer reviewed written (paper) assignments and ask students to be sure to demonstrate mastery of course concepts but from there to approach assignments in whatever way will befit them and other students the most. The focus should be on personal and professional growth and adding value to other students learning not getting it “right”. When I receive questions privately (unless it is personal) I ask students to post questions to the Module Q&A Discussion Board so that everyone has the same information. I then typically respond by asking students to do what they think their own and others’ learning the most.

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Avoiding pitfalls in online learning


Peer to peer learning is an important skill to develop.  Students spend most of their adult life learning from their peers.


Fostering peer based learning skills online is more challenging than in person learning.


In my hybrid course I will implement online peer-based learning activities to focus on developing life-long learners.  I will require the students to create instructional material (written and video) in small groups.  I will use discussion boards to discuss the material provided with the students.

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