Welcome to SPAN 113, hybrid style! SPAN 113 is the third course in the first year Spanish series. The course typically draws CLA students part way through filling a 2-year language requirement or other students with a language requirement. There are also generally a handful of students pursuing a Spanish minor and a few students interested in learning for personal or professional reasons and taking it as an elective. Enrollment is typically between 25 and 30 students. The course focuses on improving Spanish skills in speaking, listening, writing and reading, as well as topics related to the cultures of the Spanish speaking world (including Spanish speakers in the U.S.). In it’s hybrid format, the course will meet twice a week for 50 minutes (instead of four times a week in the non-hybrid format).
Because OSU already offers SPAN 113 both fully online and fully face-to-face, we have a good sense of what types of assignments work well in each format and which result in challenges particular to a given format. For example, our online students have fewer opportunities to engage in speaking practice. They also hear less modeling of spoken Spanish from their instructor. Finally, they face ongoing challenges when completing group and partner assignments due to time zone differences and other communication barriers in the online environment. For this reason, the majority of the time spent in class will be dedicated to speaking practice, group work, and other listening and speaking assignments with the instructor and classmates.
On the other hand, the online format has proved to be an excellent setting for assuring participation from all students. Discussion boards online are a great space for discussing cultural topics, asking questions that can benefit the entire class, presenting projects and providing peer reviews. Students that would typically not participate in an in-class discussion are incited to do so on a graded discussion board. Also, online video lectures with built in quizzes will prepare students for in-class activities where they can apply the concepts presented in the E-lessons. In class time at the beginning of each face-to-face session will be dedicated to checking comprehension of the materials presented in these lessons, going over common errors from the video quizzes and allowing students to ask questions.
The creation of this course in its hybrid format is a collaborative project between three colleagues. I did not read their blog posts on the same topic as I was curious to see how our visions would match!