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Teaching Modalities

Fall 2021: Pandemic Resilient Teaching


When you’re designing a course to be online or include online components, it is important to consider what type of model you want to use, and how you want to make the best use of online resources in designing and offering your course. One hallmark of well-designed online courses is that they were intentionally designed from the beginning to be online rather than as a f2f course transferred online. In the case of an emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic, you might have to move your course online in a short period of time in order to keep teaching through the emergency. In these cases, we would call that process “emergency remote teaching” rather than online course design. You can find more information about effective emergency remote teaching on the Teaching Strategies section of this site.


Modalities At A Glance

See the table below for a high-level overview of the most common teaching modalities:

Teaching Modalities Overview
Face to Face (f2f)

Online

Blended/Hybrid

Format

Most learning activities happen live in the classroom.

 

Most learning activities take place online.

 

Learning takes place in both the classroom and online. The ratio of time spent online or in the classroom is up to you*.

Canvas

Used to provide content and activities to supplement instruction in the classroom.

Students view content, interact with you and each other, and complete assignments through within Canvas.

Used to provide resources for students outside of the classroom, and/or where they go to participate in different online learning activities.

Technology

Supplement and deliver content in the classroom, e.g. iClickers or video display

Create interactive learning experiences for students online via tools like Zoom, Google Docs, lab simulations, etc.

Needed to deliver content either live or through recorded media.

Depending on the type of blended course you decide to teach, you may need to use multiple technologies (such as Zoom, cameras, and audio recording) to deliver your course live and online.

Engagement

Students work with you and with each other live in the classroom, through discussions, lectures, and labs.

Students interact with you and with each other through discussion forums or in live lectures held via Zoom. Students can also collaborate via tools like Google Docs.

Students interact with you and with each other in many different ways: through live activities in the classroom and online through discussion boards or collaborative projects.

Benefits

Fewer technological hurdles, most familiar way of holding class for you and your students.


Fully prepared for emergency remote teaching, no risk of COVID spread, and students unable to attend class on campus can participate in your course. There is flexibility for students with an asynchronous course.

Easier implementation of digital tools.

Multiple models with different benefits, students who cannot attend class consistently can still participate in your course, you can create a “best of both worlds” classroom using online technologies to create experiences alongside live interaction, some components already online in case of emergency.

Challenges

Readjust to move course online in case of emergency, potential for COVID spread, some students may be unable to attend class, fewer digital tools available to create learning experiences.

Requires students to have access to online learning tools, all online tools have to be accessible for all students and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), some activities (such as biology labs) can be difficult to recreate online.

Depending on the model - many moving parts that are hard to manage, lots of advanced planning may be needed, can be very technology-dependent, online materials must be accessible to all students and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), some parts still need to be moved online in case of emergency, virus spread in the classroom still possible.

* At UCSD any class where over 50% of the instruction happens online is considered a “remote (R)”  course, and after Fall 2021 has to go through the R Proposal process to be offered online. From a teaching perspective, anything with a high percentage of learning that happens remotely in addition to in the classroom is considered a “blended” class.

Face-to-Face (f2f) Classroom

Delivery

In your f2f class, all of your substantial learning activities and interactions with students will happen in the classroom. This may include live lectures, labs, group work, discussions, and any other hands-on learning activities you and your teaching assistants (TAs) may plan for students. Students may still interact with content through course readings or online videos outside of class, and still may be expected to complete assignments (including assessments of learning) on their own time.
Delivery is almost entirely synchronous, meaning all students engage in most learning activities at the same time and in the same place as you and other students in your class.

Using Canvas

You can use Canvas learning management system (Canvas) in several ways to supplement your f2f instruction, including using it to make readings or videos available to students, communicate with students through announcements, and create places for students to upload and turn in assignments.

Role of Technology

In addition to using Canvas, you can use a number of tools and technologies to supplement your f2f instruction. This can include anything from displaying video content or slides with your lectures, clickers for students to answer questions and interact with you in real-time.

Student Engagement

  1. Course content: Live lectures, and learning resources students read or view outside of class (i.e., textbook or articles  and videos)
  2. Other students: Group work in class, live discussions, group work outside of class
  3. Instructional Team: Live lectures, office hours, TA-facilitated discussions, and email

Benefits

  • Less preparation is needed before the course begins.
  • Fewer technological difficulties to manage.
  • Fewer concerns about student access to technology.
  • More opportunities to adjust teaching approaches as you go.
  • Immediate feedback from students.

Challenges to Consider

  • Readjustment is involved if all instruction moves back to remote in case of a COVID resurgence.
  • Students reluctant to speak up in class don’t have as many opportunities to interact with other students online on their own time.
  • Some students may not be able to attend f2f class due to COVID complications
  • Concerns about virus spread in the classroom.
  • COVID-specific logistical complications including maintenance of social distancing and mask mandates.

F2F In Practice

An instructor comes to the classroom with 80 students to deliver their lecture for an hour and a half. After finishing the lecture, students leave the classroom and go home to read their assigned articles for the week and work on their midterm paper. Later in the week,  in small groups, students join in a discussion facilitated on campus by a course TA. Once students have completed their midterm essay, they submit it through Canvas.

 

Sample: F2F Schedule

Weekly Overview

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
No class

Lecture

10-11:30 PDT
Center Hall 101

No class

Lecture

10-11:30 PDT
Center Hall 101

Discussion

9-10 PDT
Center Hall 202

To Do List

Read

  • Origins of Coffee
  • Globalization and Commodification
  • World Atlas of Coffee: Ch. 6

Complete

  • Midterm Essay, Due Wednesday 11:59 PM
    Submit through Canvas

Online Classroom

Delivery

In an online course, the entire course is offered online: lecturing, student interaction, assessments, and all other learning activities. In online courses, content and activities are created and built before the course begins so that students enter the course ready to get going on the entire course. Online courses are intentionally designed to be online, keeping in mind unique benefits and challenges of offering your course online.

Online courses can be synchronous, asynchronous, or a combination of both. Many online courses include asynchronous components, in that students participate in discussions through discussion boards and forums on their own time, and view recorded lectures and readings, and complete assessments according to their own schedule by the assigned deadline. However, it is possible to deliver many or all course components synchronously, where students are participating in the course at the same time. In this case, you might hold lectures for students via Zoom, create group discussions through Zoom breakout rooms, or create synchronous opportunities to complete assignments online through collaborative tools like Google Docs. 

Role of Canvas

In online courses, Canvas is essential to deliver the course. Canvas provides space for students to engage with each other through discussion forums, read content directly within the course Canvas webpage, read textbooks/articles you link to in the course, watch videos (created by you or linked from the internet), engage in learning activities, and turn in assignments. Canvas is the heart of your online course, where students will go to first to participate in learning activities you plan for them.

Role of Technology

In addition to Canvas, there are many tools to create more engaging learning experiences for your online course. Some of these tools can be embedded in your course in Canvas so students can use them within the course itself. This can include adding Google Drive so students can collaborate on written assignments together at the same time and/or on their own time. Zoom is available directly through your course page in Canvas, as well as different media tools for students to create and upload their own media. You can also embed your own tools within your course page, such as lab simulations and other materials you get from a publisher.

While unavailable through Canvas, you can use other tools for students to collaborate on video presentations, create mindmaps, or to create other learning experiences for your students. For more information about tools you can use in your online course, see the EdTech team ‘s website to help you decide on what tools might work best for you and your course.

Students of all visual, cognitive, and hearing abilities need to be able to interact with and learn from all tools in your course. The EdTech team can also help you answer questions about whether or not a tool is accessible. 

Student Engagement

  1. Course Content:
    • Asynchronous Course: Students engage with the content of the course through pre-recorded lectures, videos, readings (linked or uploaded into the course), and any other digital presentation you can think of.
    • Synchronous Course: In addition to accessing readings or videos, students can attend live lectures.

  2. Other Students:
    • Asynchronous Course: Students can engage with each other through discussion forums, where you can pose questions and ask students to respond to you and each other. These can either be graded or ungraded. Students can also collaborate on their own time on group work, either by simply emailing back and forth, or through collaborative tools such as Google Docs or various online Microsoft products.
    • Synchronous Course: Create breakout rooms during lectures for students to discuss in smaller groups or collaborate on group work.

  3. Instructional Team:
    • Asynchronous Course: Communicate with students through email or through tools within Canvas such as discussion forums or through feedback on graded and ungraded assignments. When using Canvas, you can even create short videos as a way to provide feedback to students.
    • Synchronous Course: Interact with students via web conferencing software like Zoom during lectures and office hours, and use other embedded tools during lectures such as iclickers. 

Benefits

  • Plan a course in advance and potentially reduce lesson planning workload during the quarter, if courses are forced back to remote format during the quarter your course is already set up for success.
  • Use tools and technologies that are unavailable to you in a classroom setting.
  • Students who hesitate to interact with others in front of a large group have space to interact with others on their own time.
  • No chance of COVID transmission.
  • Students unable to attend class due to health or other COVID-related challenges can still participate in the course

Challenges to Consider

  • Students with limited access to technology (including high speed internet) will struggle to participate fully in the course.
  • All course content (including tools) must be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and be accessible for students with all visual, cognitive, and hearing abilities.
  • You may run into technology issues that must be resolved by tech support.
  • Collaboration can be more challenging for certain types of projects.
  • It is more difficult to create hands-on learning experiences for some classes, such as biology labs.

Online In Practice

On Sunday night, students log into Canvas to get ready for the week by  going over activities and resources they will be working with. This week, students will view four 20-minute videos that cover different topics related to  their assignments, and read a chapter from their digital textbook in preparation for their initial discussion board post due Wednesday. Some students get all of the material reviewed before Tuesday afternoon because they will  attend a lecture on Canvas Tuesday evening. Others will skip the lecture to use most of the time to watch  lecture videos and read the textbook. Once students have posted to the discussion board, they spend the next two days reading and commenting on each other’s post. Meanwhile, the instructor is active on the discussion board, too, answering student questions and posing new questions to help guide discussion. Based on the readings and discussion, by Saturday, all students take a short quiz auto-graded by Canvas for instant feedback, as well as turn in a one-page reflection. The instructor reads everyone’s reflections and uses Canvas to film video feedback for each student to view in Canvas. Based on what they read in the students’ reflections, the instructor posts an announcement to Canvas the next week offering more information and feedback for the group as a whole. 

 

Sample: Synchronous Schedule

Week One Overview

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

Lecture

9-10 AM PDT [Zoom Link]

No live sessions

Lecture

9-10 AM PDT [Zoom Link]

No live sessions

Lecture

9-10 AM PDT [Zoom Link]

To Do List

Read

  • Origins of Coffee
  • Globalization
  • World Atlas of Coffee: Ch. 6

Complete

Canvas Quiz
Due Sunday, 11:59 PM PDT

Reflection Essay
Due Sunday, 11:59 PM PDT


Sample: Asynchronous Schedule

No synchronous lectures or other live activities are scheduled. Students must complete all instructional activities on their own time.

To do before the end of the week...

Watch Read Complete
  • Lecture 1.1 [20:00]
  • Lecture 1.2 [20:00]
  • Lecture 1.3 [20:00]
  • Lecture 1.4 [20:00]
  • Origins of Coffee
  • Globalization
  • World Atlas of Coffee: Ch. 6

Canvas Quiz
Due Sunday, 11:59 PM PDT

Reflection Essay
Due Sunday, 11:59 PM PDT

Blended Classroom

Between fully online and fully f2f teachings, there are many options that combine each approach and use technologies in different ways to create “blended classrooms,” where learning happens online and f2f. At UC San Diego, any course where 50% or more of the instruction takes place online is considered an “online course.” However, from a teaching perspective, courses that have substantial parts of the course offered online and f2f would be called blended . When considering how to create an effective blended classroom, there are at least 3 questions you will want to ask yourself:

  1. Which components of the course do you want to be online and which ones do you want to be f2f? 
  2. What components of the course do you want to be synchronous and asynchronous?
  3. How frequently do you want to schedule f2f and online components  of the course?

Which components of the course do you want to be online and which ones do you want to be f2f?

When you design a blended class, think about what you think is the best use of your time spent with students in class, and their time spent with each other. For example, if you are teaching a class with lab components or with a lot of hands-on demonstrations, you might want to focus on doing hands-on activities in class and provide video lectures online for students to view before class.

You might also consider whether or not there are online tools available to you that are unavailable to you in your f2f classroom. For example, maybe you think you could use discussion boards to facilitate sensitive discussions where you want to give students, especially those uncomfortable speaking in front of large groups, time to carefully consider and edit their discussion contributions before participating. Or, perhaps you want students to collaborate on documents to turn in, in which case you might want to create an online assignment using Google Docs for students to work on together. Each of those scenarios would be good options for online learning.

If you are concerned about the potential to move back to remote teaching on an emergency basis, you might want to focus on online activities or content that would be the hardest to put onliney. For example, if you know you are comfortable with recording lectures or delivering Zoom lectures on the fly, you could create online assignments and activities online and offer your lectures f2f. 


What components of the course do you want to be synchronous and asynchronous?

Synchronous class components (either f2f or online), can be a great option for you when you want to respond to student feedback in the moment, and adjust what and how you are teaching based on the feedback and what you observe from students either in the f2f classroom or through Zoom.

On the other hand, asynchronous components can be beneficial for students in terms of how they learn and by providing flexibility to students. For example, in asynchronous discussions, you can answer students’ questions throughout the week to help them get unstuck from the content, versus waiting until the next lecture to answer their questions. Asynchronous discussions can also allow students who are nervous speaking up in class to participate  more comfortably.

Asynchronous course components also allow students to work around complex work schedules or health concerns, and to do so in a meaningful way. This can be especially important during the ongoing COVID pandemic as it means students in different time zones and who might be taking on extra responsibilities at home can still participate in your course. 


How frequently do you want to schedule f2f and online components of the course?

When scheduling a blend of online and f2f components in your course, it is important to consider the schedule and pacing of the course itself. Specifically, how often do you want to offer your online components? And, how often do you want to schedule your f2f components? For example, if you are planning to use online time to work on collaborative essays using Google Docs, you might have regularly scheduled f2f lectures in the beginning of the quarter and then meet less frequently when students are working on their projects. You could also plan on using your f2f time to hold labs, in which case you might want to have regular but less frequent f2f sessions for labs.

In addition to considering what course schedule will best help students achieve your course’s learning outcomes, you might also want to think about creating a course schedule that keeps you and students safe and on track during the continuing pandemic. For example, you might schedule fewer or no f2f sessions in order to limit the risk of exposing you and students to the COVID virus and make it easier for students who are unable to come to campus to participate in your course.


Types of Blended Classrooms

There are many ways you can create blended classrooms, but there are two specific types of blended classrooms that instructors have used during before and during the pandemic to meet the needs of their students and themselves. Those are flipped and HyFlex classrooms.


Blended Classroom In Practice

Throughout the week, students log into their course in Canvas to view a series of four 15-minute videos that cover  different topics related to that week’s lesson, in addition to reading a chapter in their digital textbook. As students go through the material, on the discussion board, they post questions and have a discussion amongst themselves, with the instructor coming in periodically to answer questions and facilitate discussion. At the end of the week, students come to campus for a 2-hour f2f session where the instructor spends the first half of class lecturing based on questions that came up in the discussion forum on Canvas throughout the week, and spend the last hour of f2f session on a planned demonstration of some key concepts. 

 

Sample: Blended Schedule

Week 1 Events

Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri

No in-person session

No in-person session

No in-person session

Weekly Meeting

9-11 AM PDT
Center 101

No in-person session

To Do List

Watch

  • Lecture Supplement 1.1 [15:00]
  • Lecture Supplement 1.2 [15:00]
  • Lecture Supplement 1.3 [15:00]
  • Lecture Supplement 1.4 [15:00]

Read

  • Chapter 1: Globalization of Coffee

Complete

Live Q&A Question Submission
Submit before Live Meeting on Thursday



Resources: 

Educause: Blended Learning Resource Library

Vanderbilt Center for Teaching: Blended and Online Learning Guide

Smith, B., & Brame, C. (2014). Blended and online learning. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Retrieved [July 19th, 2021] from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blended-and-online-learning/.

Flipped Classroom

In a traditional f2f classroom, you would expect students to attend your lecture live and in-person, and then complete most assignments away from the classroom on their own time. However, in a flipped classroom, this approach is reversed where students view lectures on their own time and work on assignments live and in the classroom. The philosophy behind the flipped classroom is that students benefit from your expertise when they work with you on projects rather than passively view lectures in-person. It can also help you make the most of class time by making time for students to interact with and learn from each other.


Role of Canvas

In the flipped classroom, Canvas serves primarily to deliver media, such as videos, podcasts, and written commentaries, in preparation for active student participation in the classroom. Other features of Canvas can be used to reinforce learning. For example, you can use the quiz features to deliver quick ungraded or low-stakes “learning checks” so students are aware of gaps in their understanding and can come to class prepared with questions. 

Role of Technology

When building a flipped course, you can use a variety of tools to help you create your lectures, including tools to record podcasts, slide presentations, lecture videos, screencasts, and more. For more information on how to create lectures or other resources online, see the Educational Technology Service’s website on developing lecture and video content .

Student Engagement

  1. Course content: Through recorded lecture videos, slide presentations, podcasts, screencasts, or lecture notes
  2. Other students: Students interact with each other through group discussion or assignments in-class
  3. You: Students can interact with you through discussion, by asking questions in class, or collaborating with you on projects in the classroom

Benefits

  • Allows you to interact with students and offer your expertise during active learning activities; and
  • In the event you have to move to emergency remote teaching your lectures are already available online

Challenges to consider

  • All of your lectures need to have captions or transcripts to be accessible to students with disabilities;
  • Students without high-speed internet activities might have trouble viewing your lectures; 
  • You will still have to recreate f2f activities online in the event of emergency remote teaching;  
  • Students unable to come to campus cannot participate in course activities; and
  • There is still a risk of virus transmission in your classroom

Flipped Classroom In Practice

Throughout the week students log into their course in Canvas to view a series of pre-recorded lectures going over concepts covered in that week’s lesson. Students come to campus once per week for 3 hours for demonstrations, instructor-facilitated discussion, and work on group projects. 

 

Sample: Weekly Schedule

Week One Overview

Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri

Discussion

9-10 AM PDT Center 202

No live sessions

Discussion

9-10 AM PDT Center 202

No live sessions

Discussion

9-10 AM PDT Center 202

To Do List

Watch

  • Lecture 1.1 [30:00]
  • Lecture 1.2 [30:00]
  • Lecture 1.3 [30:00]
  • Lecture 1.4 [30:00]

Read

  • World Atlas of Coffee: Ch. 1


Resources:

Chronicle of Higher Education: How ‘Flipping’ the Classroom Can Improve the Traditional Lecture

Agile Learning Blog Post- Dereck Bluff (Assistant Provost and Executive Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching)- Mobile Learning and the Inverted Classroom

Hyflex Classroom

The HyFlex model is a relatively new model of blended learning in higher education, developed by Brian Beatty at the University of California, San Francisco. The purpose of the HyFlex classroom is to create a blended or hybrid (the “hy” in HyFlex) class that maximizes flexibility (the “flex” in HyFlex) for students. In the HyFlex classroom, synchronous lectures and classroom activities are presented f2f and online so that students can attend class either on campus or online at the same time. Additionally, the HyFlex model involves providing an asynchronous option to students unable to attend class on campus.


Role of Canvas

In the HyFlex classroom, Canvas is primarily used to facilitate the asynchronous course option for students, though it could also be used to post resources for students attending class on campus.

Role of Technology

HyFlex classrooms require using many tools to manage the f2f and online parts of the course. Prior to your synchronous course, you will need to make sure that the camera and audio hookups in your classroom are set up to broadcast to online students, and record the lecture for your online students. For online students, you may also need to use a variety of tools to recreate your f2f learning activities online.

Student Engagement

  1. Course content: Live lectures and activities or recorded lectures and online activities
  2. Other students: Synchronous discussions online and in the classroom, group projects online and in the classroom 
  3. You: f2f and online lectures and discussions, online discussion forums, assignment feedback in Canvas

Benefits

  • Extremely flexible for students with complex and inconsistent schedules, family and job obligations, and those who cannot attend class on campus because of COVID; and Students with disabilities who benefit from multiple ways of processing information and demonstrating their learning

Challenges to consider

  • HyFlex classrooms are incredibly resource-intensive in terms of technology; 
  • You may need additional TA support to help facilitate discussion with synchronous online students; 
  • Increased workload by creating  online and f2f course components; and 
  • Requires a lot of planning before the semester starts

Examples

https://teaching.cambriancollege.ca/hyflex-delivery/

https://iase-web.org/icots/10/proceedings/pdfs/ICOTS10_4H2.pdf?1531364266

https://philonedtech.com/covid-19-planning-for-fall-2020-a-closer-look-at-hybrid-flexible-course-design/


HyFlex In Practice

A n instructor comes to the classroom with 15 students to deliver their lecture. While they are lecturing, a camera is transmitting the lecture live via Zoom to 5 students who are attending class online. After finishing the lecture, the instructor divides the f2f students into groups of 5 to have them answer a question prompt, and then have the 5 online students discuss the same prompt in a Zoom breakout room. After all students have had a chance to discuss within their small groups, each group presents a summary of their discussion, including the group attending online via Zoom. After class, the instructor posts a recording of the lecture on Canvas, and a discussion forum with the prompt used in class so that the 5 students who were unable to attend the live class can participate in the discussion. The following week, 2 of the students who attended f2f during the last class chose to attend online due to childcare responsibilities, and 1 online student chose to participate in the asynchronous course because their internet was down during the live class time. 

 

Sample: Weekly Overiew

Week One Overview

Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
No class

Lecture

10-11:30 PDT
Center Hall 101
[Livestream Link]

No class

Lecture

10-11:30 PDT
Center Hall 101
[Livestream Link]

No class

To Do List

Watch [ONLINE STUDENTS ONLY]
Only watch if you missed the live streaming

  • Tuesday recorded lecture session
  • Thursday recorded lecture session

Read [ALL STUDENTS]

  • Chapter 1: Globalization of Coffee

Complete [ONLINE STUDENTS ONLY]

Discussion Participation activity



Resources:

Hybrid-Flexible Course Design: Implementing Student-Directed Hybrid Classes

Educause: HyFlex Resource Library

References

Copyright 2020 Clemson University. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International License. Citation (APA): Franklin, K. B. (2020) Models of course delivery. Retrieved from https://www.clemson.edu/otei/fall2020-academic-models.html


https://library.educause.edu/-/media/files/library/2020/7/eli7173.pdf

https://edtechbooks.org/hyflex