To establish policies to deliver administratively approved hybrid courses for Penn State Harrisburg.
Hybrid courses utilize digital technology to enhance learning with multimedia sources; allow for multiple learning strategies; comply with university policies concerning delivery and access; include flexible scheduling; integrate in-person instruction and online, technology-based learning with student-faculty interaction; and broaden the concept of learning communities. Hybrid courses require more advanced planning for the instructor than courses solely offered on campus. All meeting times not listed as “AND WEB” in the course listing are expected to meet during the stated class times in LionPATH.
Definition of a hybrid course
Hybrid courses are combinations of online and face-to-face instruction. There are three types of hybrid courses:
- Hybrid: 25-50% Online (H2): Class will meet in person and online. 25-50% of the class will be taught online synchronously or asynchronously.
- Hybrid: 51-74% Online (H5): Class will meet in person and online. 51-74% of the class will be taught online synchronously or asynchronously.
- Hybrid: 75% and up Online (H7): Class will meet in person and online. 75-99% or more of the class will be taught online synchronously or asynchronously.
Consultation and Approval
- The program faculty should:
- Determine if a potential course is appropriate to offer as a hybrid course for the program and designate a course author.
- Identify the pedagogical reasons for why the course should be transformed to a hybrid course.
- Once a program has identified a course as suitable for hybrid delivery, the designated instructor is strongly encouraged to take a self-assessment to determine if a hybrid course would be compatible with the instructor’s style. The instructor should contact the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) for information on how to complete the self-assessment.
- The course author must complete and sign the Request for Proposal for Online Course Development Form, gain the signature of program leadership, and submit the proposal to the school director at least six months before the course is to be offered for his/her approval.
- If the school director agrees to approve the request, the school director will sign and submit the form to the assistant dean for academic affairs.
- The assistant dean for academic affairs will sign and submit all approved proposals to CTE. CTE staff will arrange for an initial consultation with the instructor for the development of a plan for how the course will be designed for online delivery.
- The instructor will then work with an instructional designer in the CTE to develop the course.
Development of hybrid courses
The length of time needed to develop a hybrid course varies based on the instructor’s prior experience in online teaching and course design; the amount of time the instructor can devote to the redesign effort; the extent of revision required; the number of online sessions to be designed; and the need for multimedia development. Typically, at least six months are needed to create a new hybrid course.
All hybrid course development completed in the CTE must adhere to:
- The Penn State Quality Assurance Standards. The standards ensure that distance learning courses serve the learning needs of Penn State students.
- Senate Policy 42-23, which stipulates that all courses meet the hours of equivalent instruction.
- Standards regarding accessibility. See Accessibility at Penn State | Course Accessibility Guidelines
- Standards regarding accommodations from the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity
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.
Program faculty should review each hybrid course every three years to determine if the course is still needed and if a course review and revision are required. If the course is still needed, faculty are encouraged to consult with CTE staff to make sure that the most current distance learning strategies are being employed in the course.
Intellectual property rights
Faculty should review the University’s policy regarding intellectual property rights by referring to the University’s Policy IP03, Courseware. The Courseware Copyright Agreement is provided on the course approval form.
Assessing hybrid courses
Faculty teaching hybrid courses should be available for peer review as any other class offered at the College.
- 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.
- Revised February 16, 2023. Revisions reviewed by College Faculty Senate April 11, 2023. Approved by Academic Council: April 20, 2023.