ONLINE AND HYBRID
SYLLABUS, CONTENT VIDEOS, & RATIONALES
I designed these materials as part of an Online Teaching Certification Program at Florida State. Throughout the course of developing these materials, we discussed at length the theoretical and practical pedagogical choices surrounding the unique environment of online and hybrid classes. Materials showcased here demonstrate my ability to develop and produce lesson content videos, video-based communications, and context-specific assignments. These materials reflect my conscientious curricula and pedagogical decisions needed for the online and hybrid classroom.
This syllabus differs from my face-to-face courses. This document is paired with an introduction video (posted below) as a way to set clear expectations and guidelines for the unique environment of an online or hybrid course. I usually construct my syllabi to be more concise, but since online courses are inherently built differently, I give much more detailed explanations on this syllabus, including how to access materials and how to best succeed in the class.
Online & Hybrid Teaching Philosophy
As an online and hybrid instructor, I build my courses from the ground up using goal based and kairotic design (Snart, Cummings et al.). Since the environment of the online classroom is unique from its face-to-face counterpart, my pedagogy also shifts to better adapt to the needs and the demands of this space. I do this by focusing on the following:
Developing interactive and accessible content;
Fostering community through instructor-student and student-student interactions;
Assessing students’ progress regularly and making course adaptions as needed.
Developing Interactive and Accessible Content
As OWI Principle 1 insists, accessibility should be at the core of our online courses. Students should be able to not only physically access the material, but the delivery and consumption of the course material should be intellectually and mentally accessible for students as well. The main way I have found to accomplish this is through multiplicity. I produce multiple formats of lesson plans, assignment sheets, and instructor-student communication that students access depending on which best suits their needs. For example, for each video I create—either more formal, like a content delivery video, or more casual, like a weekly introduction video—I close caption the video, design it in a simple manner to prevent cognitive overload, and I provide a text-based script.
The videos, especially for content delivery, are also interactive. I embed activities for students to do as they are consuming the video so that they become active participants in their learning process. They can pause, rewind, or watch the videos as many times as needed.
Fostering Community Through Instructor-Student and Student-Student Interactions
Asynchronous instruction seems to be the new normal for online courses, but as an instructor who values learning through social construction, I ethically include synchronous activities in my online courses. By doing this, students are better able to build community and recognize that writing and learning are not isolated undertakings. They better develop audience awareness as they share with their peers, and they learn through engagement and collaboration. I do this by creating small peer groups at the beginning of each term. Students sign up for groups that best fit their work schedule, and they work with these core group of students all term. They participate in group Google Hangouts, collaborate in Google Docs, and consume and comment on each other’s work.
Assessing Students’ Progress Regularly and Making Course Adaptions as Needed
Though I believe there can be a lot of prep work completed before a term begins, I practice regular assessment and draw on Cummings et al.’s kairotic design. Similarly to face-to-face courses, each cohort of students learns at their own pace. By regularly assessing where students are in their learning process, I can better adapt the materials and the pace to best serve their needs. These assessments are carried out through anonymous questionnaires, regular and timely reading and feedback on their low and high stakes assignments, and a more formal midterm progress review. After the assessments, I create new or additional videos and activities, and I address course concerns in my more casual weekly introduction videos.
Successful Learning and Ethical Teaching
Adequately preparing and carrying out online instruction is both timely and intensive. However, that should not override creating a course that is accessible to students’ individual learning needs and that is best suited for the unique environment of the online space. Ethically teaching online requires an adaptation of pedagogy and not simply a transfer of in-person teaching. Doing this successfully requires a theoretical grounding in online curriculum and practical knowledge of technology and tools.
I usually develop two type of videos in an online or hybrid class. I create more casual videos where I introduce myself, the class, or each assignment. These videos are short and are meant to address visual and audible learning styles in students. Other videos are intended more towards writing content. These concise, student-centered video address common writing concerns that arise in composition classes. Since students are not present in a physical classroom to ask these routine questions, I have developed a library of short videos that students can access kairotically.
This video introduces students to the course and to me as their instructor. This informal, short video puts a personality behind the computer, making this course feel more human and community-focused.
Content delivery in an online or hybrid course presents many challenges. Using an interactive, narrated PowerPoint (with a text-based script included) allows students to grapple with the material individually through audible and visual means and then with peers through integrated activities.
This short video covers common issues first-year composition students have in writing conclusion paragraphs in research essays. Students can access this video as needed and is stored in a video database on our Canvas page.
Creative Commons License
I have spent a great deal of time developing videos for my online and hybrid courses. This Creative Commons License allows others to use this content for teaching purposes only with due credit given to the creator. Full license details can be found by clicking on the license in the top right corner.