A-9. Hybrid Courses

A-9. Hybrid Courses


To establish policies to deliver administratively approved “hybrid courses” (also sometimes referred to as blended) for Penn State Harrisburg, the Capital College’s hybrid courses that facilitate instruction in which structured online experiences through course management software and other media reinforce campus-based learning recognizing that in residence learning is still our mission.   All courses offered as a hybrid or online course must go through the approved process prior to being offered at Penn State Harrisburg.


Hybrid courses utilize digital technology to enhance learning with multimedia sources; allow for multiple learning strategies; comply with University policies concerning access; include flexible scheduling; integrate campus-based, off-campus, technology-based learning, and student-faculty interaction; and broaden the concept of learning communities. Because of the integrative function of hybrid courses, they require more advanced planning for the instructor than in a course solely devoted to on-campus or online instruction. All courses that are not listed as “AND WEB” of the course listing are expected to meet during the stated class times.


Defining a hybrid course:

Hybrid courses are specific packages of online and face-to-face content and processes organized to reduce or replace the number of required face-to-face class sessions in order to improve effectiveness of instruction and/or to achieve other student needs. The schedule of courses designates hybrid courses by listing the in-class meeting time (e.g. MW 8-9:15AM) on the first line of the course listing and “AND WEB” on the second line of the course listing. Any course that reduces the number of face-to-face class sessions must be listed as hybrid and go through the consultation steps and approval process listed below.

Consultation and Approval:

  1. The Program Faculty should meet to determine which courses are appropriate to offer as a hybrid for the Program and designate a course author.
  2. Once a program has identified courses suitable for hybrid delivery, the author is strongly encouraged to take a self-assessment to determine if a hybrid course would be compatible with the instructor’s style.
  3. The course author should complete the Request for Proposal for Hybrid Course Development Form, gain the signature of Program Leadership, and submit the proposal to the School Director for his/her approval.
  4. The course author must sign the AD-69 agreement.
  5. The School Director will submit all approved proposals with the Center for Teaching Excellence to arrange for an initial consultation and the development of an action plan.
  6. Faculty will then work with an Instructional Designer in the Center for Teaching Excellence to develop the course.

Development of hybrid courses:

The length of time needed to develop a hybrid course varies and is based on the faculty member’s prior experience in online teaching, learning, and course design, the amount of time the faculty member can devote to the redesign effort, and the need for multimedia development. The average amount of time needed is one semester.

All online course development completed in the Center for Teaching Excellence, including the online components of hybrid courses, follows the design standards set by the Penn State Quality Assurance Standards. The standards are intended to provide a measure of quality assurance for online courses to serve the e-learning needs of Penn State students. In addition, the Center for Teaching Excellence adheres to Senate Policy 42-23 and ensures that all courses meet the hours of equivalent instruction.

The faculty member is the subject matter expert who provides the course content. The instructional designer lends expertise in implementing the course in a professional and pedagogically sound manner.

We recommend that each course is reviewed every three (3) years at a minimum to determine if a hybrid course is still needed and to revise/update content.

Intellectual property rights: 

Faculty should read and understand the University’s policy regarding intellectual property rights by referring to the University’s Policy IP03, Courseware. Additionally, school directors will present faculty with the Courseware Copyright Agreement to be completed for each course prior to the start of its hybrid development.

Assessing hybrid courses: 

Hybrid courses should be available for peer review as any other class offered at the College. Once the hybrid course is developed,the Program Leadership and/or School Director will preview the proposed course to ensure that it meets School and College standards of quality.

Presented to College Faculty Senate: March 22, 2012
Approved by Academic Council: April 24, 2012
Revisions presented to College Faculty Senate: October 26, 2017
Approved by Academic Council: November 29, 2017