Hybrid Academy

A Hybrid course, as defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), is a “course in which a majority (more than 50 percent but less than 85 percent), of the planned instruction occurs when the students and instructor(s) are not in the same place.” Hybrid courses allow the University to offer additional classes and provide alternative learning environments and achieve maximum classroom utilization.

The goal of Hybrid courses is to join the best features of in-class teaching with the best features of online learning to promote active independent learning and to reduce class seat-time. Using computer-based technologies, instructors use the Hybrid model to redesign some lecture or lab content into new online learning activities, such as case studies, tutorials, self-testing exercises, simulations, and online group collaborations.

Workshop Information

The Hybrid Academy runs for 8 weeks and is taught in a Hybrid format. The online component is delivered through Blackboard and organized into 8 Modules. Within each Module are assigned readings, supplemental material, discussions, artifact assignments, blueprint and tasks to complete. Mandatory live sessions are also held to have deeper conversations of given topic, guest speakers and opportunity to work on the course and get feedback from peers. Modules are organized as follows:

  • Module 1: What is Hybrid Learning?
  • Module 2: Learning Objectives
  • Module 3: Assessing the Learner
  • Module 4: Accessibility
  • Module 5: Learning Activities
  • Module 6: Materials
  • Module 7: Technology in and out of the Classroom
  • Module 8: Course Overview 


Successful completion of the workshop includes Deliverables for this workshop include all assigned tasks found within each module, including:

  • Module Lesson Quizzes
  • Blueprinting Assignments for 4 modules worth of the course participant is developing
  • Module Discussion Participation for each module
  • Artifact assignments
  • Journal Reflections
  • Designing and developing 4 Modules worth of Hybrid course in development shell
  • Meeting Internal QM Review of developed course

In order to participate, UTRGV faculty must:

  • Complete the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric. Workshops are listed in the following site: Faculty Training
  • Chair approve course to be offered in the Hybrid format in the following semester. Agreement form will be provided for approval.
  • Fall -> Spring
  • Spring -> Fall or Summer


New teaching opportunities:

  • Faculty can teach using a variety of online and in-class teaching strategies, which make it possible to achieve course goals and objectives more effectively.
  • The hybrid model allows faculty to develop solutions to course problems and to incorporate new types of interactive and independent learning activities that were not possible in traditional courses.

Student engagement:

  • Instructors report that they feel more connected with their students and are able to get to know them better since they communicate both online and face-to-face.
  • Hybrid environments have the potential to increase and extend instructor-student and student-to-student connectivity and to build relationships even more so than in traditional or online courses (Dziuban, Hartman, & Mescal, 2004).
  • Discussions started in class are continued online and online interaction often carries over into the traditional face-to-face classes.
  • Integration of out-of-class activities with in-class activities allows for more effective use of traditional class time.
  • Students who rarely take part in class discussions are more likely to participate online (Garnham & Kaleta, 2002).

Increased student learning:

  • Faculty believes that their students learn more in the hybrid format than they do in traditional class sections.
  • Instructors report that students write better papers, performed better on exams, produced higher quality projects, and were capable of more meaningful discussions on course material when reflecting online.
  • Students are better able to master concepts and apply what they have learned compared to students in sections of their traditionally taught courses.
  • Students may develop higher-order skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to apply theoretical models to real-world data (Donoghue, 2011).

New pedagogical approaches:

  • Learning to teach a successful hybrid course leads to using more participatory and student-centered learning activities.
  • Teaching a hybrid course transforms the teacher-student relationship to be more centered on student learning.
  • Instructors found that their role as a teacher changed from being the "sage on the stage" to become more facilitative and learner-centered.

Documenting the process as well as the product of learning:

  • Many instructors report that their course management system has increased their pedagogic efficiency because of its ability to organize the course and automate some basic activities such as quizzes, grading, and surveys (Bersin 2004).
  • All the discussion threads, course documents, announcements, and grades are easy to find, refer to, and print if necessary.
  • It's far easier to document online group work and participation for purposes of assessment.

Flexibility for students

  • Asynchronous online courses allow students to work around job schedules and other activities. Many students must work in order to afford school
  • Less face-to-face time means less commuting by students – they save money on gas and create less traffic/parking issues
  • In the 2012 ECAR survey, about 75% of students said it was important that instructors use cutting-edge technologies
  • Blackboard has recently upgraded to a very new look and feel and has added several key functionalities

More space for UTRGV

  • Online/hybrid courses also reduce the need for space, which is a considerable issue for UTRGV

Reference List:

  • Dziuban, C. D., Hartman, J. L., & Moskal, P. D. (March 30, 2004). Blended learning. Educause Center for Applied Research, 2004(7). Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERB0407.pdf
  • Garnham, C., & Kaleta, R. (March 20, 2002). Introduction to hybrid courses. Teaching with Technology Today, 8(6). Retrieved September, 25, 2013, fromhttp://www.uwsa.edu/ttt/articles/garnham.htm
  • Donoghue, F. (2011, July). The Strength of Online Learning. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/the-strengths-of-online-learning/29849
  • Bersin, J. (2004). The Blended Learning Book. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
  • "E-learning." Advantages of Teaching Online: Wentworth Institute of Technology E-Learning. http://www.wit.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.