Online and Hybrid Teaching

Online and Hybrid education follows many of the same methods and philosophies as traditional, in-person courses. There are, however, differences that invigorate a paradigmatic shift for online/hybrid educators. Compared to in-person education, online and hybrid teaching have more of a learner-centered paradigm which, when successful, yields highly active student interaction and engagement. The instructor’s role shifts from being “a sage on the stage” to “a guide on the side” by facilitating student learning rather than delivering instruction.

Teaching an Online or Hybrid Course

Teaching an online or hybrid course for the first time may seem like a daunting task. There are many questions to consider as we endeavor to design our courses. How is teaching online/hybrid courses different from teaching a classroom-based course? How can we ensure that the same quality of instruction will be achieved online? How can we facilitate effective communication and ensure authentic assessments are implemented?

Difference Between Teaching Online and Face-to-Face
Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Malaga shares his experience with teaching online for the first time.

Pedagogical principles that apply to in-person classes definitely remain consistent with online and hybrid instruction. While technology tools have dramatically improved in the past few years, an instructor leading a well designed, high-quality course needs to ensure that students possess an understanding of the expectations for their work, participation, and collaboration, as well as the instructor’s availability and approach to giving student feedback. This requires that a course be well structured and organized, and that expectations be clearly and frequently communicated.

Instructional strategies should also be employed in order to a sense of community for students and faculty within an online or hybrid course. That sense of community can serve to foster a welcoming and productive online environment for students. Those strategies should also include frequent opportunities for both formative and summative assessments throughout the course.

Online and Hybrid Fundamentals

Online and hybrid courses require a systematic approach to course design and consistency across the curriculum.  While courses in online programs are all designed and offered in an online format, traditional in-person programs may offer some online or hybrid courses. Faculty developing online or hybrid courses are advised to collaborate with an Instructional Designer, applying the OCIA model and online course template as outlined in this section. You may be wondering how an online course differs from a hybrid or in-person course. Below are definitions that describe the different types of courses at Montclair State:

Face-to-Face Courses
Course sessions occur in the traditional classroom environment, on Campus or at satellite locations, during required face-to-face meeting times. The internet and other technology may be used for supplemental course content and activities.
Online Courses
The course occurs in an online environment. Students are not required to be present on Campus or elsewhere to meet with classmates or their instructor, but some courses may require synchronous (simultaneous) online meetings.
Hybrid Courses
Online activities replace some portion of the traditional face-to-face class meeting time. Students are required to attend on-Campus meetings and to spend a substantial amount of time online. The online portion of the course can be asynchronous or synchronous.