UVM launched a five-year hybrid course initiative in the Spring of 2013, coordinated by the Center for Teaching and Learning and supported by the Technology Innovation Fund. The goals of this program are to
As faculty participants in the program develop and teach classes, they will share information about the structure of their courses and feedback on how these models have contributed to student learning outcomes. By the end of the first two years of the 5-year initiative, the program will have supported the development of 20-30 hybrid courses, which will be made available as case studies for faculty to use as models in their own course development.
Faculty who have participated in the Hybrid Course Initiative have developed and taught (or are teaching) hybrid courses in Business, Film and Television Studies, Linguistics, Nursing, Environmental Studies, Computer Science, Social Work, Spanish, Psychology, Education, Nutrition, and Accounting.
Spring 2014 cohort members have been preparing hybrid courses in Transportation Studies, Physical Therapy, Human Development, Natural Resources, and Visual Communication.
UVM defines a hybrid course as one in which 25-75% of the class time is conducted online, with the remainder taking place face-to-face in class or in the field. Hybrid models vary depending on instructor goals, but they typically allow for more flexible scheduling for students, faculty, and classroom resources. Research demonstrates that hybrid course design can increase flexibility for students and can make class time more engaging for both faculty and students.
Some techniques employed in a hybrid classroom can also be adapted to the “flipped classroom” teaching method. A flipped classroom strategy can be employed in a fully face-to-face class, which students' “homework” focuses on learning facts and principles, while in-class time is devoted to working problems and exploring the application of this knowledge.
Phase 1 (Spring 2013/Fall 2013) (Applications are now closed)
Ten faculty have been invited to participate in a hybrid pilot and will be compensated with technology and some professional development funds to be used to pay for TAs or other support related to their teaching. The focus is on developing a range of models for hybrid instruction as well as programming and other materials to support faculty. Courses developed in Phase 1 will also provide opportunities to design and field-test assessment strategies. Faculty in this cohort are eligible for a support package that includes a new laptop, software, and a grant to aid in developing and implementing their course.
Phase 2 (Spring 2014/Fall 2014) (Applications are now closed)
In Phase 2 of the program, twenty courses will be selected including some courses taught by faculty teams. Faculty in this cohort will be eligible for a support package that includes a new laptop, software, and a grant to aid in developing and implementing their course. For team applicants, only the team lead will be eligible for the support package, but the training and other support will be available to all the members of the team. (Note: The Spring cohort has already been selected and we are now accepting applications for the Fall 2014 cohort.)
Phase 3 (Spring 2015-Fall 2017):
Faculty in Phase 3 will benefit from the trainings, successful course models, and assessment protocols developed in Phase 1 and 2. These faculty will be able work with a designer and/or TechCat on their course. Faculty participating in this phase will receive a grant to support their teaching or other professional development. Faculty fellows selected from Phases 1 and 2 will provide some training and support and work as liaisons with departments and colleges.