Hybrid / Online Introduction

Hybrid / Online Introduction


SMC has been teaching hybrid classes for over a decade, primarily in Graduate Business and Leadership, but also an occasional undergraduate course.  As the 21st century progresses, research and experience are clarifying the advantages, disadvantages, and characteristics of hybrid and online courses.

IT Services is providing this guide as a starting point for faculty doing or contemplating such courses.  It is based on the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, Quality Matters rubric, and five principles of Lasallian education articulated by Br. George Van Grieken, FSC.  The Quality Matters points are integrated into the other points, and are flagged by an asterisk: *

Definitions of Hybrid and Online Learning
As we move forward, pedagogy and delivery for courses are likely to be quite fluid and we encourage faculty to consider multiple approaches. One expectation is that each course will have a contingency plan, should we need to return to shelter-on-place, and that this plan will be communicated to students, both in the syllabus and at the start of the course with time for questions. Although the definitions have been shared previously, we offer them again so you don’t have to search for them.

Hybrid Learning

In each of these modalities, there is some element of in-person instruction. 

  • Hy-Flex Classroom: A fully-synchronous model in which faculty teach courses in-person with some students choosing to join in-person and others joining remotely. Some fully in-person courses will look like hy-flex hybrid when/if students have to remotely join classes due to health concerns, but hy-flex by definition has a default structure that allows students to choose how they want to attend the class.  
  • Flipped Classroom: An asynchronous/synchronous mix, in which lectures or other learning materials are shared with students for independent learning, followed up with in-person and synchronous online class meetings. 
  • Modified Tutorial: An asynchronous/synchronous mix, in which lectures or other learning materials are shared with students for asynchronous learning, followed up with small group discussion sessions with the instructor in-person or online.
  • Dual Classroom: An asynchronous/synchronous mix, in which students take turns attending class in-person, the instructor teaches the same synchronous lesson twice, while the other half of the class works independently or in groups on asynchronous material, such as lectures, informal writing, projects etc. May be supplemented with a third hour of synchronous or asynchronous work online with the whole class.
  • Low-Residency Hybrid: Students meet in-person a few times at the start of the term, then transition to mostly online learning with planned events or check-ins for students to meet in-person, together or in small groups, throughout and at the end of the term.

Fully Online

In each of these modalities there is no in-person instruction.

  • Synchronous: Instructors and students meet according to a regular class schedule, but in a virtual environment such as Zoom or Google Meet. Faculty should recognize the ways in which synchronous meetings might pose challenges for students who have limited wi-fi, different time zones, lack a supportive place to study, or are caregivers in the home.
  • Asynchronous: Instructors share and students navigate through course material and activities online, in their own time (generally week-by-week). Students interact with each other through discussion boards, small group projects, and/or the chat feature with a learning management system (such as Canvas); as well as collaborate using Google Apps. Instructors check-in with students individually via assignment feedback tools, office hours, email and chat. However, students often report suffering from a lack of structure or feelings of isolation in asynchronous only courses.
  • Blended Instruction: Instructors combine synchronous and asynchronous elements of courses together for balance.


Bloom’s Taxonomy is a way of classifying educational learning objectives into levels of complexity and specificity.  There are several visualizations of the concept, but the pyramid is a common one.



Additional tips

  • Just as you would for F2F activities, be sure online course activities are tied to the course learning goals.
  • Be mindful that students will commonly use their mobile phones for accessing course content and completing course activities.  If you paste content directly to your Canvas site, chunk it into pages, ideally around 250-400 words.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words.  Find Creative Commons online images, and highlight or annotate them to make your points clearly.

How to get training and help at SMC

EdTech can help you at any stage of flipping your course, from brainstorming, implementation, assessment, and reflection. If you have any questions or would like a consultation, please submit a Ticket to EdTech (instructions how to submit a ticket for EdTech); you can even ask for a one-on-one Zoom meeting by indicating in the ticket 3 date(s)/time(s) when you are available to meet. We appreciate to be given at least 24 hours advance notice :)

Where do I begin?

There’s a lot of material here, so here are two simple, bite-sized ways to get started:

  • We have created a simple Academic Resiliency Checklist for helping the transition from traditional face-to-face to whatever will be the post-Covid-19 normal. You can also review our Transition from in-person to online instruction slides.
  • Review all the topics on this page, and pick one that interests you.  Click on it and read it. In a couple of days, explore it, click some links, make some changes in your Canvas site. In a week, pick another topic that interests you, and repeat. Read the intro paragraph for each of the pages.  Next day, come back and read the Pedagogy & Notes list for each page.  Next day, come back and read the implementation steps on one or two of the pages.