Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hybrid class article

Gouge, Catherine. “Conversation at a Crucial Moment: Hybrid Courses and the Future of Writing Programs.” College English 71.4 (2009): 338-62.

This articles is one of those pieces that I can’t believe hadn’t been written already, which of course made me kick myself for not writing it earlier. It is basically a call to pay attention to hybrid classrooms, to start a conversations and research on it, which is what we / I should have done three years ago when we moved to classroom instruction. I suppose we could start with interviews of all classroom instructors. The article is certainly right to call for more research.

I was really surprised to read that all reports of hybrid classrooms seem to be positive, and the doubts mainly have to do with doubts about the economic goals of hybrid classes. The last third of the article even focused on the Texas Tech program, so it became about how hybrid classes might be able to support innovative assessment.

The NDSU experience with hybrid classes would look very different. The success stories would be minimal: I had a strong discussion of White Like Me that probably would not have happened in a f2f class—the students even told me that. A few other instructors have reported getting comfortable with hybrids, but I don’t remember why. I think many of us hope that students will become more technologically literate, but we aren’t convinced that they are. Our big complaint is that students treat a hybrid like a 75 minute a week class; they do little or nothing between classes, despite various threats and incentives.

The article does cite a special issue from Teaching with Technology (8.2) that seems worth looking at, and I am now convinced that I need to read Locke Carter’s collection Market Matters.


Karl K said...

Within the question of how/why instructors became comfortable with hybrid teaching styles, you may want to look at "Online Learning," by Nada Dabbagh and Brenda Bannan-Ritland.

Though much of this book is common sense, give the table on P.53 a look-over. The traditional role in f2f classrooms vs. the online learning roles held by instructors and students are seperated and labeled (through social constructivist theory).

This table is adapted from C. mcLoughlin and R. Oliver's 1999 work, "Pedagogic Roles and Dynamics in Telematics Environments.

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