In Spanish 113, as with all of our first and second-year courses, we focus on speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills. We introduce our students to the richness of Hispanic cultures, and we focus on the 5 C’s of language learning: communication, connections, comparisons, cultures, and communities. On average, our classes have about 25 students in them, and the communicative abilities of the students in any given section always vary, which makes it a challenge for us. Our classes are student-centered, and so they’re very interactive and based on communicative tasks (that is, using the language to communicate authentic meaning within a given context). All of our first and second-year courses are 4 credit hours, and each week, students will spend two hours online (in addition to the normal studying and homework that they would complete outside of class), and they will have two one-hour sessions of face-to-face time.
So, what will our hybrid courses look like? The obvious answer is that we’ll use the face-to-face time to do things that students can’t do online. That likely means that most of our spontaneous speaking activities will take place in the face-to-face setting, and we’ll also likely use the weekly meetings to do things like presentations and proctored evaluations. Beyond that, we are still very much trying to figure this out. As I have said in our weekly meetings, we have a lot of good online content from our e-campus courses, and a lot of those assignments will end up forming the backbone of our hybrid courses. The advantage of the hybrid delivery model is that, rather than being limited in their spontaneous interactions, students will have the opportunity to come to class twice a week and practice face-to-face communication, which we have struggled to implement in our e-campus courses. So, we feel like it has the potential to be the best of both worlds.
We’re excited about the potential of these classes, but we still have a lot of work to do with respect to content creation and coming up with our weekly schedules. I’m thankful to be working with Emily and Raven, because this takes a lot of time and thought, and I can’t imagine trying to do it without them.