In simplest terms, this is where you are when you fulfill your course’s contact hours. Face-to-face (f2f), online, blended, hybrid, self-paced, hyflex are the most common terms.
How it works
Let’s breakdown these terms. In face-to-face delivery, all teaching contact hours take place in a setting where the educator is with his/her students. The place may be a lecture hall, a lab, or other physical space. Self-paced or hyflex delivery requires no physical logistics. A course or module is launched and students complete it at their own pace. The term hyflex tends to be reserved for self-directed courses where the content and activities are tech-enabled. Self-paced courses usually denote a lower level of technology in use.
Online courses also don’t require physical logistics, but the teaching and social presences (as well as the cognitive) are deeply embedded. There is direct interaction between the educator and students through online discussions, communication, and assessment feedback. As students engage with the material and the activities, there is clear evidence of indirect interaction between the educator and students.
Opportunities for students to engage peer-to-peer should also be present in an online course. Learning and contact may be synchronous (in real time), asynchronous (outside the constraints of time and place), or a combination of both.
Blended and hybrid learning are synonyms. Some of an educator’s contact time with students is face-to-face and some is online or outside of the physical space. The students’ online/outside of the physical space learning is either asynchronous or synchronous.
Use at Mohawk
Clear and consistent communication is key. Your course outline, as developed in collaboration with colleagues and your Associate Dean, is the first point of communication. With blended learning, where delivery is a mix of modes, a comprehensive learning plan that clearly lists which activities take place online/outside of the physical class space and which happen face-to-face will boost understanding of and engagement with this mode of delivery.
Confusing for students is seeing a “blended class” in a learning plan, email, or news item. It is the combination of online and face-to-face that constitutes a blended course. Therefore, you may have a face-to-face class or an online class, but not a blended one. Traditionally at Mohawk, the contact hours for a week are blended - two hours face-to-face and one hour online, but individual blocks of class time are either online or face-to-face.
There are many other models for blended delivery. If planned at a programmatic or organization-wide level with careful consideration of space optimization and students’ flexibility, blended delivery can solve space issues and economize students’ physical presence on campus.
Who can help you at Mohawk
Your program’s advisory committee (PAC) can be a great resource. If the employers’ workplaces require graduates able to:
- communicate both face-to-face and virtually
- possess sound time management skills
- work independently
- collaborate with colleagues in-house and across the city | country | globe
Scaffolded blended delivery can develop and solidify these skills in graduates.
Curriculum specialists and Associate Deans understand the Ministry’s guidelines and developments in their recommendations on mode of delivery. Mode of delivery may be on the agenda at Curriculum Committee meetings and annual Program Reviews.
CTL staff can assist with your program’s planning of cohesive blended delivery as well as offer assistance at the course level to: boost students’ engagement; provide logical progression through the course; enhance online tasks and their completion; and ease course management issues.
Active Learning Subject Guide from the Library - Various resources such as websites and books on active learning, recommended by the Library.
Bates, T.(2015, Feb 3). Deciding on modes of delivery. - Either read or listen to this blog post by a leading expert in education, Tony Bates. If you want more information, feel free to access his entire OER textbook, Teaching in a digital age.
Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities. (1996). Future goals for Ontario colleges and universities: A message from the Minister. - Although it needs an update, the discussion paper highlights that mode of delivery is factor in the future of education. It is a factor because of financial implications and the student experience.