Best Practices | Course Delivery Methods

Overview

Courses at UNF may be delivered in a variety of modalities, including traditional classroom (known as face-to-face or F2F), hybrid/blended, and online formats (known as distance learning or DL). Visit UNF’s Definitions of Hybrid and Distance Learning for more formal definitions of hybrid and distance learning.

 

In Practice

Distance Learning

Distance learning courses are technically defined as being delivered 80% or more online, however, in most cases these courses are delivered 100% online. What does this mean in terms of contact hours? A 1-credit course requires 12.5 contact hours, a 2-credit course requires 25 contact hours, a 3-credit course requires 37.5 contact hours, and so forth.

 

Contact hours in the case of a DL course can be considered as the time students are expected to interact with peers, content, and/or the instructor in an online setting. Individual assignment work or student reading and study time is not included in the contact hours.

 

What would a 3-credit DL course look like? While DL course designs may widely vary, it is important to integrate a variety of learning opportunities and to consider the time commitment a course demands of its students. While you may schedule the full 37.5 hours as online contact hours, you could instead schedule 7 hours in the F2F classroom and 30.5 hours as online interaction time. It is also essential to develop a structured, navigable course to ensure an effective online learning environment.

 

CIRT’s online course templates are available to guide your efforts in constructing high quality DL courses. Schedule an appointment to consult with an Instructional Designer (ID) if you have any questions, require assistance with templates, or want to translate one of the following examples to guide the development of your own DL course.

 

The following course examples outline the elements and interaction times to optimize the delivery of a 3-credit DL course in a Fall or Spring semester and serve as possible models to guide development.

 

DL COURSE EXAMPLE 1

Special Focus: Learner-Learner Interaction

Course Elements

Interaction Time

Total Interaction Hours

Collaborative Work

(project management & presentations)

70 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

17.5 hours

Instruction & Content

(readings, videos, presentations)

40 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

10 hours

Discussions

(posts & replies)

30 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

7.5 hours

Communication

(announcements, surveys, email correspondence)

10 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

2.5 hours

To emphasize learner-learner interaction in a course, prioritize group assignments and include collaborative opportunities like discussions. The majority of students’ efforts will go toward honing interpersonal skills, developing group dynamics, and learning from the experiences and insights of their colleagues. Scaffold your students’ progress by integrating valuable instructional materials and weekly announcements to communicate key concepts and expectations.

 

DL COURSE EXAMPLE 2

Special Focus: Learner-Instructor Interaction

Course Elements

Interaction Time

Total Interaction Hours

Instruction & Content

(Conferences live session, readings, videos)

90 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

22.5 hours

Assessment Preparation & Submission

(journals, papers, presentations)

30 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

7.5 hours

Discussions

(posts & replies)

20 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

5 hours

Communication

(announcements, surveys, feedback)

10 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

2.5 hours

To focus on learner-instructor interaction in a course, incorporate a variety of opportunities for you as the instructor to assess student performance and provide meaningful feedback. Gauge student perceptions and encourage reflection with journal prompts and a mid-term survey. Synchronous class sessions in Conferences allow students and instructors to connect in real time; use these opportunities to confront complex topics and engage in open dialogue with students.

 

DL COURSE EXAMPLE 3

Special Focus: Learner-Content Interaction

Special Focus: Learner-Content Interaction

Course Elements

Interaction Time

Total Interaction Hours

Instruction & Content

(readings, videos, presentations)

80 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

20 hours

Assessment Preparation & Submission

(quizzes, papers, peer reviews)

50 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

12.5 hours

Communication

(announcements, surveys, feedback)

20 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

5 hours

To prioritize learner-content interaction in your DL course, provide a variety of instructional materials to convey content. Interactive presentations made with tools like Arc, Office Mix, and EdPuzzle are great resources that enhance the learning process. Prompt students to measure their knowledge by taking checkpoint quizzes. Challenge students to engage with the content and apply new skills by prompting them to create how-to guides and respond to case studies.

 

 

Hybrid/Blended

Hybrid courses integrate learning experiences both in the F2F classroom and online. At least 50% and not more than 79% of contact hours in a hybrid course should be delivered online. In a 3-credit course with 37.5 total contact hours, approximately 19 to 29 of these contact hours may be delivered online.

 

What would a 3-credit hybrid course look like? Hybrid course designs may take on many different forms as some may evenly divide their contact time between F2F and online settings, while others prioritize DL up to 79% of their contact hours. Additionally, hybrid course schedules can widely vary. Some instructors choose to schedule two F2F sessions per week to start the semester and leave the last weeks of the semester open for students to coordinate group project efforts. Other instructors may prefer split their F2F contact hours between classroom sessions and related professional or academic events. Regardless of how you decide to blend your course, it is important to develop a structured, navigable course to ensure an effective online learning environment.

 

CIRT’s online course templates are available to guide your efforts in constructing high quality hybrid courses. Schedule an appointment to consult with an Instructional Desgner (ID) if you have any questions, require assistance with templates, or want to translate one of the following examples to guide the development of your own hybrid course.

 

The following course examples outline the elements and interaction times to optimize the delivery of a 3-credit hybrid course in a Fall or Spring semester and serve as possible models to guide development.

 

HYBRID COURSE EXAMPLE 1

Special Focus: Web-Enhanced F2F

F2F Course Elements

Contact Time

Total Contact Hours

Instruction & Content

(lectures, presentations, videos)

 

Collaborative Work

(discussions, project management, presentations)

30 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

 

20 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

7.5 hours

 

 

5 hours

Online Course Elements

Interaction Time

Total Interaction Hours

Assessment Preparation & Submission

(quizzes, papers, presentations)

 

Supplementary Content

(readings & videos)

  

Communication

(announcements, surveys, feedback)

40 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

 

40 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

 

20 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

10 hours

 

 

10 hours

 

 

5 hours

Enhance a traditional course by infusing online learning opportunities. Use F2F classroom time to provide meaningful instruction and allow for collaboration and discussion. Students measure their progress by taking checkpoint quizzes online. Students also dedicate their online efforts to engaging in course-related communication and accessing instructions and feedback for assessments.

 

HYBRID COURSE EXAMPLE 2

Special Focus: Flipped Classroom

Special Focus: Flipped Classroom

F2F Course Elements

Contact Time

Total Contact Hours

Collaborative Work

(discussions, project management, presentations)

 

Instruction

(review sessions & lectures)

30 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

 

20 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

7.5 hours

 

 

5 hours

 

Online Course Elements

Interaction Time

Total Interaction Hours

Content

(readings, videos, websites)

 

Assessment Preparation & Submission

(quizzes, papers, presentations)

 

Communication

(announcements, surveys, feedback)

 60 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

 

30 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

 

10 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

15 hours

 

 

7.5 hours

 

 

2.5 hours

Flip your course by prompting students to prepare online each week before attending your F2F sessions. Start each week by sending an announcement to remind your students to read and watch all required content before attending class, and to complete the weekly checkpoint quiz online. Students are also expected to access instructions and feedback on assessments online. Use F2F classroom time to focus on collaborative projects and specialized instruction.

 

HYBRID COURSE EXAMPLE 3

Special Focus: Active Learning

Special Focus: Active Learning

F2F Course Elements

Contact Time

Total Contact Hours

Collaborative Work

(discussions, project management, presentations)

 

Instruction

(demonstrations & feedback)

30 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

 

20 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

7.5 hours

 

 

5 hours

Online Course Elements

Interaction Time

Total Interaction Hours

Content

(reading, videos, websites)

 

Assessment Preparation & Submission

(quizzes, papers, presentations, journals)

 

Communication

(announcements, surveys, feedback)

50 min. per week

(x 15 weeks) 

 

40 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

   

10 min. per week

(x 15 weeks)

12.5 hours

 

 

10 hours

 

  

2.5 hours

Design your blended course to showcase active learning principles. Engage and challenge students with collaborative projects and student-led instruction in the F2F classroom. Also use this time to support students with demonstrations, specialized instruction, and timely feedback. Focus on students’ individual progress online by integrating checkpoint quizzes to formatively assess content knowledge and journal prompts to encourage reflection.

 

Additional Resources

 

References

"3 Types of Interaction That Foster Student Engagement". Faculty ECommons. Academic Partnerships, 19 Apr. 2013. Web. 13 June 2017.

 

“Blended Courses”. UDL on Campus. CAST, n.d. Web. 13 June 2017.

 

Dixson, M. (2010, June). Creating effective student engagement in online courses: What do students find engaging?. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10(2), 1-13. Retrieved from www.iupui.edu.

 

"Learning Environments". Teaching and Learning Resources: Learning Environments - UCF Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. Karen L. Smith Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, n.d. Web. 13 June 2017.