My Hybrid Course in a Nutshell – Kathy Greaves

Hi all :)   You probably don’t know me but I was part of the spring, 2013 Hybrid Learning Community. I tend to say that I failed the course miserably but Cub has been kind enough to say that I just took an Incomplete. So here I am finishing up one of the final requirements of my spring HLC – my blog envisioning my hybrid course.

HDFS 201: Contemporary Families in the U.S. is a very large enrollment (350) Baccalaureate Core Course that meets the Difference, Power, and Discrimination (DPD) requirement. Students are typically from all four classes and all colleges. This 3-credit course will meet every Tuesday for 80 minutes. The DPD content of the course is very sensitive and focuses on issues of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia in the context of U.S. families. Contextual topics include poverty, cohabitation, marriage, divorce, LGBT families, parent-child relationships, work-family balance, family violence, and family policy. Most students don’t have a particularly hard time with the material, but there is a significant minority of students who have very specific beliefs about families and Systems of Oppression and, as a result, feel that what I am presenting is “made up.” So that’s quite challenging.

The most significant challenge for me has been trying to figure out how to engage SO MANY students with each other either in the classroom or online – and resources providing ideas have been few and far between. But I do have a plan.

Each week, online activities will include watching mini-lectures and taking a quiz on textbook reading. The quizzes will replace the in-class mid-term exam I usually give. Over the course of the term, they will submit evaluations of four specific articles related to the DPD content. There will also be some weeks where they’ll have to find information online and bring it to class for further discussion. I might try one or two discussion boards, but I hesitate not only because of the size of the class but also because of the DPD content. Some students have been known to say some highly insensitive things and since the class is about families, these insensitive things are usually taken very personally. With over 350 students, I am worried about the time devoted to managing that.

In class, I’ll integrate online content with F2F experiences in a number of ways. First, I’ll cover a bit more lecture related to each of the online mini-lectures. Second, I’ll pose keypad questions based upon the online mini-lectures. Third, student will contribute information they found online.

While I haven’t included a way for students to interact with each other online (aside from the possibility of a discussion board), I will include some “pair and share” activities in class. Students will also be sharing online information they found with their “pair and share” partner as well as with the whole class. Keypad activities are a final way in which students are engaged in the class.

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