Design your course *once* for multiple modalities

If you are planning to teach a hybrid course in 2020-2021, please check out these suggestions for teaching both in-person and remote students.

ACM workshop information

Colleagues from Carleton and Knox Colleges led the ACM session on designing your course once for multiple modalities. The presentation was focused on intentional, resilient course design that encourages you to plan around engagement rather than content. This allows you to think about which aspects of your teaching and student learning benefit most from in-person engagement, which could be accomplished via synchronous remote engagement, and which could be offered asynchronously. These are the slides; access to the recording from this workshop requires a Macalester College login.

The following resources were offered as part of the workshop:

Course design and weekly matrix plan

Weekly plan with workload estimate

Imagining a Resilient Pedagogy 

  • Bill Hart-Davidson notes that “resilient pedagogy requires planning for the important interactions that facilitate learning. These include all the ways that teachers and students need to communicate with one another, see one another, learn from one another, in a variety of contexts that are important to our learning goals and outcomes.” 

Active Learning in Hybrid and Physically Distanced Classrooms

  • Derek Bruff’s reflections on and answers to the question he poses to himself and his readers at the start of the essay: “If I’m standing at the front of the classroom with half or a third of my students in the room with me, but sitting six feet apart from each other and wearing masks, while the rest of my students are joining class by videoconference, what strategies might I employ to engage all of my students in meaningful learning?”

A “Zoomflex” approach to Fall teaching (created by a colleague at Washington State University) 

  • The first nine or so minutes of this video offer an excellent model for how to think about and design classes that will have both in-person and remote students (the remainder is pretty specific to the institution)
  • watch tip for this and all videos on YouTube: you can increase – or decrease – the playback speed by going to the “settings” gear in the bottom right corner of the YouTube screen; you can also click “cc” to turn on the auto-generated captions for this video

Resilient Design for Remote Teaching and Learning

  • Andrea Kaston Tange’s reflections on and strategies for designing syllabi “with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous solutions that will translate well, no matter whether some students are in person or not.”

The Hy-flex Flip: Planning for Courses in Fall 2020

  • José Antonio Bowen addresses the challenge of balancing a small number of in-person students (at any given time) and a larger group of remote students with a “proposal to abandon the synchronous (especially repeated) lecture (both large and small) and reallocate time to smaller groups of more engaged active learning.” 
  • One specific suggestion: if you are planning a class that will include both F2F and remote students: “… a fishbowl discussion can work. One group actively discusses and the other group observes, awards points, scores using a rubric, or makes written commentary. Then you switch. If you switch between F2F and online then both groups get a crack at being center stage and you solve some of the microphone and other issues.”

More ideas

  • From an interview with Jenae Cohn, an academic-technology specialist for the program in writing and rhetoric at Stanford University, excerpted in Beth McMurtrie’s Chronicle of Higher Ed Teaching newsletter:
    • “Design a fully online class and think of the in-person part of it as an enhancement to the core of your coursework. … if you expect the bulk of teaching and learning to take place in your classroom, you’re asking it to carry too much weight.”
    • Think of “class time as a place to connect and regroup, as well as to review content. Organizing your course in this way minimizes the risk of having your remote students passively watch you engage with students in person.” 
    • “…ask a student in class to pair up with a remote student through a Zoom chat room to work on a problem together.”

Additional resilient pedagogy resources

Resources for maximizing student engagement with asynchronous course activities