June 29 – July 1
Long Beach, CA

Lessons From Combining Online and Classroom Delivery Into Flexible Courses

Leadership and Administration
All Audiences

In this conference session, we will share lessons learned from our efforts to support faculty, instructional designers and campus leaders preparing to offer ‘flexible courses’ that combine online and in-person delivery. Flexible course experiences often follow one or more core principles: 1) learner choice, 2) equivalent learning experiences, 3) reusable tools and course materials, and 4) accessibility (Beatty, 2019). In spring and summer 2021, very few Cal State campuses had the resources to create a whole new set of training materials related to flexible course delivery. Responding to several requests, the Chancellor’s Office team conducted a systemwide survey to identify core challenges for faculty, students, staff and campus leaders. Then it commissioned the Flexible Course Experience Institute, a four-part workshop series followed by open labs for answering questions and building community. Modeling effective online and hybrid teaching practices, the institute followed evidence-based teaching practices like the Transparency in Learning and Teaching framework and Universal Design for Learning principles. The discussions focused on sharing practical strategies such as how to create a cohesive learning experience for learners in both online and in-person environments and how to support students who enroll in flexible courses. The institute served staff across the system who needed to train faculty at their local campus, as well as faculty who wanted to get a head start on preparing for the fall. The institute itself has been shared as an open, free Creative Commons work for campuses to use as needed. Subsequently the Chancellor’s Office has fostered a community of practice among interested campuses. Academic technology and faculty development leaders have shared their own resources, classroom configurations, and stories told by multiple stakeholders.

Join us as we review teaching and supporting flexible courses over the last academic year and seek to improve for the next year.

Session Outcomes:

  • Identify core challenges for faculty, students, staff and campus leaders when offering courses that combine online and in-person delivery.
  • Describe effective strategies for individuals and/or for entire institutions preparing to teach, learn in or support flexible delivery courses.
  • Outline strategies for building a statewide community of practice that includes faculty, instructional designers and campus leaders.
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