Hybrid Learning Model Class Structure

When structuring your new hybrid course, be sure to give yourself ample time to plan your materials and activities. The focus of planning a hybrid class is to make sure that each assignment is done in the correct format, as opposed to a strictly in-person or online class where you know the medium of each assignment.

But, how do you determine which materials are best served through which medium? First, gather your course materials. Then, follow our step-by-step guide.


1. Set your semester goals.

What do you plan to accomplish with your hybrid class? By setting long and short term goals for yourself and your class, you can explain the key expectations to your students.

Determine these goals and their corresponding assessment, and work backward to structure the rest of your course. This backtracking from the end of the semester to your very first session will ensure that all of your assignments and materials serve your course directly.


2. Map it out.

Now that you’ve determined the goals of your course, and how your students will be assessed, you’ll need to map out how they’ll navigate your class. Create a chart, table, timeline, or another visual tool to outline your course modules, and their respective activities and resources, in chronological order. By mapping your course visually, it will be easier for you to spot any course holes or underdeveloped activities.


3. Determine which course objectives are best served as in-person activities.

Now that you’ve determined what your course will look like, it’s time to factor in the hybrid element. Your face-to-face class time should be reserved for activities that require activities such as:


  • Synchronous group brainstorming sessions
  • Communicating class expectations and outlining individual responsibilities
  • Establishing a collaborative, trust-based learning environment
  • Call and response presentations
  • Providing immediate feedback to students

Pro tip: Remember that synchronous, face-to-face time can happen in-person, or virtually. If some students are in the classroom, while others are learning from home, you can use video conferencing tools to connect with one another.

4. Determine the online portion of your course.

You’ll notice that one main element of your hybrid course not mentioned in the face-to-face section is the deliverance of information. While in-person time is reserved for synchronous and group discussions, the majority of personal assignments will be done virtually. Additionally, the other activities that make up the online portion of your hybrid class can include:


  • Self-paced learning and activity completion
  • Automatic grading programs such as multiple choice of True/False quizzes
  • Asynchronous group discussions
  • Written critical analysis and thoughtful discourse
  • Video or aural content consumption

5. Create and source content.

Once you’ve mapped out the modules in your course, you’ll need to create and source the content that will be used by your students. This is the time for you to create assignments, find all reading materials, source your video content, and finalize your syllabus.

If your school has experience with hybrid classes, adapting archived resources and tailoring them to fit your class structure is a great place to start. Additionally, resources can be found on flagship education websites and managing discussion forums.


6. Give your hybrid learning plan a trial run.

Congratulations, you’ve created a successful hybrid learning environment! The only thing left to do, before your course begins, is to do a trial run of the online portion of your course. You want your course to be fluid and accessible, without encountering any surprise technology speed bumps along the way. If possible, have a fellow faculty member or trusted former student test the course for you. Having an extra set of eyes on your course is always a good idea, and those unfamiliar with the creation of your course will be more likely to spot gray areas.


Hybrid Teaching Tips

To ensure your new hybrid course runs smoothly, here are some bonus hybrid teaching tips just for you:


  1. Don’t be afraid to redesign. The course map you created is not set in stone, as you move through the semester, lean into the strengths that arise and redesign to accommodate for any weaknesses that get exposed.
  2. Use online work to offer targeted learning plans, extensions, or one-on-one teaching for individual students.
  3. Provide mobile learning options for the online portion of your course.
  4. Be open to feedback, and really learn from your student’s experiences.
  5. Don’t overload on online assignments, just because they can be completed anywhere doesn’t mean they take any less time than face-to-face work.
  6. Integrate the online and the in-person. A successful hybrid course is only as strong as the relationship between its two halves.
  7. Embrace your hybrid community. If you find yourself stuck or frustrated, turn to other hybrid class instructors that you respect: their experience and wisdom are priceless.
  8. Explain the purpose and expectations of your hybrid class clearly and often. If this format is new to you, there is a good chance it is new to your students as well.
  9. Provide students with self and time management tips so they aren’t left treading water as soon as they leave the classroom. This is especially helpful for students who have never completed online coursework before.
  10. Connect your students to a trusted IT hotline for any technical issues that may arise.