UC Davis’ Hybrid Course Initiatives

In August 2011, UC Davis Provost Ralph Hexter had a lunch meeting with faculty who had been working on online and hybrid learning projects. When asked what barriers made it difficult to proceed with their innovative projects, the faculty reponded that they usually did not have funds to cover the costs of educational technology support or graduate student support. The Provost suggested that his office might be able to help lower those barriers. In response, Rosemary Capps, Andy Jones, Paul VerWey, and Kirk Alexander proposed a program that would use Provost funds to support faculty creating hybrid courses: The Provost Hybrid Course Award (PHCA).

In addition to providing funding, the team felt important to provide a workshop series for the PHCA awardees. Faculty who are redesigning courses for hybrid delivery frequently have the same questions about how to choose new technology, engage students online, navigate course approval, promote academic integrity, get the most out of ATS production services, and make courses accessible to students with disabilities. Throughout the workshop series, instructional design and production staff answer these questions and offer support that would not be sustainable through individual consultation. Additionally, the workshop allows faculty to give and receive feedback from peers, and builds a community of innovative teaching practice,  a key goal of the PHCA program.

Importantly, the workshop is not exclusive to PHCA recipients—any member of the faculty interested in hybrid course design is welcome to register and participate. Extending the workshop to non-PHCA awardees not only promotes interest in hybrid education, but it also allows workshop participants to receive feedback from a larger group. If faculty cannot participate in the workshop series but want to move forward with their hybrid course redesigns, they are welcome to meet with CETL faculty developer Rosemary Capps or ATS instructional designer Dan Comins for a one-time consultation.

In the last two years, the provost has awarded ten Hybrid Course Awards. In 2012, four awards went to:

  • Robert Blake & Travis Bradley (Spanish and Classics), Intermediate Spanish
  • Naomi Janowitz (Religious Studies), Reading War, Fighting War
  • Jon Scholey (Molecular and Cellular Biology), iBioseminars in Molecular and Celluar Biology
  • Woutrina Miller & Sophia Papageorgiou (Veterinary Medicine), One Health: Principles and Practical Solutions for Global Health Challenges

The 2012 workshop series, with 15 faculty participants, consisted of four face-to-face workshops, two Adobe Connect webinars, and two asynchronous discussions over the course of eight weeks.

In 2013, the provost planned to offer four awards, but the review committee was so impressed with the high quality of proposals that the provost’s office made funds available for six:

  • Steven Luck (Psychology), Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
  • Patrick Farrell & Kristen Ware (Linguistics), Introduction to Linguistics
  • Angelique Louie & Don Chigazola (Biomedical Engineering), Engineering Senior Design Series
  • Andrew Marshall & Timothy Weaver (Anthropology), Human Evolutionary Biology
  • Birgit Puschner (Psychology), Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • John Yoder (Plant Sciences), Professionalism and Ethics in the Life Sciences

The 2013 workshop, with 20 faculty participants, concluded in March.

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