Don and Rachael’s Hybrid Course: ECE 441
Our course is an electrical and computer engineering course that will be offered to all seniors hoping to graduate in the spring of 2018. We will likely have an enrollment of about 150 students and the course is first in a three-course series that will span fall, winter, and spring, and will cover the whole of the senior design project cycle, culminating in the presentation at the Engineering Expo in the spring. We are actually planning on keeping the same hybrid course design throughout the duration of the course series, for the sake of consistency. The class will meet face-to-face on Fridays from 10-11:50am.
Students will find all of the important documentation needed for the course in the Canvas CMS, and they will be guided through modules that are organized around “chunks” of information, activities, and major assignments that will help them to meet the course outcomes. We have actually organized the entire year into these modules, and the fall term will include 4 of them. The modules will begin by being sequential (e.g. “Start here”), but soon starting with the second module, students will find that there are recurring or larger (to-be-revised) types of assignments that won’t conclude when they move on the next module but will instead need attention until the end of the course. The modules will include pages that present outcomes for each module, videos, outside links, key information about content and assignments, and quizzes to check for understanding. There will also be discussion board assignments included, in would students will divide themselves up into groups and decide which discussion board to participate in for credit, reflective surveys, and peer review activities, all online.
Connection between online an face-to-face:
The home page of the course Canvas site will include the syllabus. The syllabus presents information about hybrid course organization, including a mix-map and reasoning behind course design and also course outcomes. In addition, the (embedded Google doc) syllabus also contains a schedule where three columns lay out the face-to-face meeting activities, online prep, and assignments due. Rather than being a redundant table, this schedule complements the Canvas modules by laying out what we will do in the face to face session each week and indicating the Canvas modules and assignments the pertain directly to the prep for the face-to-face meeting. The table also indicates what deliverables students will need to be prepared to present in class. Additionally, there will be a link to a continually updated Google presentation used to guide the face-to-face activities and discussion in Canvas that students can reference if they wish.
We will work to ensure that everything done in the face-to-face session is indeed better delivered face-to-face than online. We will have interactive discussions where students can ask questions as they come up and the entire class will have the opportunity to benefit from the information provided in response, rather than having to scroll through a Q&A forum. We will also be presenting relevant technical problems/cases for students to work through with their teams and to present solutions to in real time, where they will benefit from seeing other possible solutions and getting integrated support on communicating their solutions to their peers, and we will ask students to prepare pieces of their project to present to the class based on the project timeline, and teams will be selected to present their work to each other, followed by a Q&A period. Finally, we’ll also have important guest speakers with Q&A during class time and face-to-face team-manager and team-instructor meetings throughout the term and the year.