My Hybrid Course in a Nutshell

A quick overview of the class.  It’s BA101 – Introduction to Business.  As the title implies the course is designed to introduce students to the world of business – as such it is a “mile wide and an inch deep” (or maybe three inches deep).  The general idea is they will gain a deeper understanding of business basics (accounting, marketing, operations, etc.)  Currently the course is a six credit large lecture format class with three 1½ hour lectures and one smaller 1 hour lab per week.  Enrollment varies between 170-300 per term.    Students are primarily freshmen and sophomores and there is a large international contingent (typically 15%-40%).  For hybrid deployment I plan on have one 2 hour lecture per week and continue with the weekly 1 hour labs.

Right now I envision using the lecture class meeting time to do three things:  1) Continue to cover some of the same material I currently cover in lecture 2) Go a bit deeper on some of the topics, and 3) Do more activities and discussion in lecture.  I currently do a fair amount of “pair-share” and some problem work, but it always comes directly after delivery of the content and it is often rushed.  By pushing some of the content to the web via micro-lectures and materials from Merlot I should be able to dedicate more time and detail to in-class activities.  The overall goal is to spend more time in-class working on application of concepts as opposed to explaining the concepts.

Online I plan to continue to continue quizzes I currently do regarding textbook and article readings.  Additionally, I am already running assignments through Blackboard and will continue this as well.  As I mentioned I envision doing a number of micro lectures as well as employing some of the material I have found at Merlot.  I would like to get eCampus involved to create a couple of interactive online activities.  Finally, I plan to employ the discussion board.   Given the size of my class I will probably only do it two or three times during the spring quarter, using it as a trial to see if I want to continue or if it needs to be refined for future use.

As for linking.  My idea is to have them read and watch lectures prior to face-to-face meetings.  Through in-class activities and discussion we can then dig into the material more deeply.  One functionality that is supposed to be available in the next iteration of Blackboard is the ability to aggregate class quiz data.  Currently if I want to look at class wide Blackboard Quiz data (e.g. # of times a given pool question was asked/number of correct responses) I can’t.  Once I have this ability I plan to use the data as a discussion starter in class (e.g. “I see we struggled with the following question.  Let’s talk about it….”).

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2 Responses to My Hybrid Course in a Nutshell

  1. pugatcht says:

    I shared this with Aaron over email already, but for the benefit of all, here’s a new paper I came across reporting the effect of moving a course similar to Aaron’s to a blended/hybrid approach: http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/abstract/494.pdf

  2. Kate Lajtha says:

    Awesome. Now find a similar paper outlining the benefits and pitfalls of moving a science class online to a hybrid format! I’m looking for good online materials, and I bet others have done this, but my online searching feels like I am reinventing the wheel. There are a lot of papers out there for passive reading — and a lot of things that will be well over the heads of freshmen non-majors — so I am looking for environmental sciences above that of K-12, but below that of a PhD. Not yet easy!

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