Teaching students with academic promise is one of the purposes of Albright College. Our longstanding commitment to educating students of academic promise in a community where individual students enhance their ability to learn how to learn, to approach challenges from multiple perspectives, to cross boundaries both in and outside of the classroom, and to make connections with intellectual confidence. This is especially important during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Flexible, resilient and trauma-informed teaching and learning practices along with rich course design allow us to respond rapidly and effectively. Flexibility, resiliency and TITL may include being prepared to use multiple course modalities (in-person, hybrid, or asynchronous); employ technology tools to maintain relationships with students and ensure continuity in their learning; being ready to distinguish “must-have” learning objectives and activities from “nice-to-have” ones that may be reduced or eliminated to focus on those of primary importance and having a familiarity with trauma-informed teaching and learning principles (insert link here).
This resource aims to offer helpful strategies and tips to help instructors to design activities for in-person or synchronous online, hybrid and asynchronous online modalities, review considerations for instruction, suggested technology tools, best practices for success, campus support resources and more.
For additional support, reach out to Digital Learning and Innovation, Director of Teaching and Learning and Associate Dean of General Education.
Academic continuity is paramount if you are teaching to students that are in your classroom, but some may be participating via video-conference. Planning begins with asking yourself questions about the preparedness or you, your students, and your course if unexpected issues arise. The goal is to restructure your course in a way that helps your students get the support they need if they cannot be in-person and to meet the most essential learning objectives. As you design your courses, think about how you will address continuity for each instructional activity.
There has been a large increase of courses offered in a hybrid format at Albright College. Hybrid courses are typically a 50/50 mix of in-person and asynchronous instruction. Some refer this to a “Flipped Classroom,” but does not necessarily include all the practices of that classroom dynamic. In this format, many instructors combine in-person and online elements for a blended approach to teaching and learning. By design, this integrated approach accommodates more learning preferences with added flexibility and more options for learning.
Day courses that are offered during Summer/Interim along with evening courses employ a significantly different environment than the other two modalities. Intentional, well-designed and Albright QM certified courses involve an immense amount of planning and preparation and should mimic the in-person/hybric course in every way possible.
For the purposes of this page, we present the topics focused on All Modalities and Hybrid/Online(Asynchronous)
Ensure that the course content is updated for the current term, all items are functional and published on time.
State and implement course policies that are sensitive to all students.
Communicate Clearly and Quickly
State and implement a clear communication policy that supports the pace and structure of the course, including:
This sets the tone for the class and communicates that you are aware for their needs for feedback.
Provide timely notice to students about changes to course materials, due dates, procedures or your availability.
Provide grades and meaningful feedback before the next assignment is due, including graded discussion board activities.
Demonstrate instructor presence by using course tools to engage with learners and to encourage active learning.
Cultivate a community among online students by facilitating regular and meaningful interaction between learners.
The tone and content of your communication is positive with the intent of supporting students through challenges and encouraging a growth mindset.
Check in with students who may be struggling and refer students to the appropriate departments on campus for assistance.
Make facilitation choices that support diverse students and make each student feel welcomed and valued.
Explicitly draw connections between in-class and online learning activities to blend learning across modalities.
Example: Students might summarize an online discussion in class that launches an in-class group activity that leads to a follow-up writing assignment online. SCAFFOLDING
The strategies below are specific to our hybrid and online courses.
Course Introduction and Navigation
Learning Outcomes and Alignment
An Albright course is an Albright course no matter what modality it is taught in. Learning outcomes are the roadmap for the course and should include module outcomes as well.
Clear expectations help students succeed. Assessments are aligned to outcomes to ensure that outcomes are being met. Using a grade early/grade often approach helps students monitor progress and know if they are on track for success.
Materials for online and hybrid courses should be created for the audience of both hybrid and online students. Online students feel at a disadvantage when they are given recordings of on-campus activities or lectures. Research shows that using best practices for presenting instructional materials helps students learn more effectively by using active learning strategies where students perform meaningful actions involving course content and then reflect on their learning.
Research shows that active learning strategies and the three forms of interaction (student-content, student-instructor, student-student) are most effective in online and hybrid courses.
Three forms of interaction are present: