Hybrid & Online Learning at UC Davis: Definitions, Initiatives, and Courses

UC Davis is dedicated to offering our students the best possible learning experiences, and, at Academic Technology Services, that involves helping faculty effectively incorporate educational technology into their classrooms. Increasingly, our mission also involves promoting high-quality hybrid and online learning.

This resource:

(a) defines what we mean by “hybrid” and “online” learning,

(b) describes the initiatives we offer to support hybrid and online teaching and learning at UC Davis

A. Definitions

It can be confusing to determine what constitutes a “online” course versus a “hybrid” or “blended” or “face-to-face” course because courses vary in “how much” of the learning takes place online.

At UC Davis, we define face-to-face courses as those in which instruction and learning activities occur in a physical classroom setting. Blended courses similarly occur in a physical classroom, but the instructional and learning activities feature integrated technological components.

A hybrid course is one where a portion of face-to-face instruction and learning activities is replaced by web-based online learning and activities. Typically, between 25-75% of course activities occur online.  For example, students might come to class for two hours per week instead of four – the other two hours are “made up” with online activities, which can be synchronous or asynchronous.

Finally, an online course is one in which all instruction and learning activities occur online; those activities can be either synchronous or asynchronous, and often is a combination of the two.

B. Initiatives & Programs to Support Hybrid & Online Teaching and Learning

Academic Technology Services (ATS) and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) support a variety of initiatives and programs to help faculty engage in and enhance hybrid and online teaching and learning. If you know of additional programs or initiatives (perhaps specific to your department), please let us know!

  • Designing Hybrid Courses Workshop: The Designing Hybrid Courses workshop is a series of 8 hybrid workshops (some face-to-face sessions, some Adobe Connect sessions) currently offered every Winter to 20-25 faculty. PHCA recipients are required to take it as part of their award, but it is also opened to other interested faculty. It is co-taught by a CETL faculty developer and ATS instructional designer.
  • Hybrid & Online Learning Showcase: Each October, this showcase celebrates work of innovative faculty who have designed or taught online and hybrid courses (primarily pulled from PHCA efforts). The showcase also provides a venue for interested members of the campus community to see recent developments in hybrid and online learning and discuss the future of online learning at UC Davis. For more information, contact Cara Harwood.
  • Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education (DOLCE): This group of faculty and staff meet on the first Friday of every month at 12pm in 1310 Surge III to discuss online learning and collaborative education. At least one faculty member presents on an innovative teaching method, and Academic Technology Services staff answer questions. If you miss a meeting, you’ll find the minutes and video recordings of each meeting here.
  • Future of Learning in Practice (FLIP) Workshops: This workshop series dedicated to exploring online tools and instructional technology used to enhance learning in blended, hybrid, and online courses. FLIP meets on the second Friday of every month at 12pm.
  • Faculty Panels: These informal discussions about teaching with technology are focused on a specific tool or teaching strategy (e.g., YouTube, electronic textbooks, MOOCs) and are led by a few faculty members who have particular experience with the topic. We meet at 12pm in 1310 Surge III on the third Friday of each month during the quarter. Facilitated by Andy Jones.

1 thought on “Hybrid & Online Learning at UC Davis: Definitions, Initiatives, and Courses

    […] Blended courses, sometimes called “web-enhanced courses,” integrate technology to deliver content or promote student interaction outside of class, but students still meet in class for the amount of time as a face-to-face class. Many courses at UC Davis would be considered blended courses because they use the learning-management system (Smartsite) or other online tools to facilitate activities, assess students, or deliver content. In hybrid courses, a larger portion of instruction and activities (typically 25-75%) are moved online and the amount of time spent meeting face-to-face is reduced. For example, students might come to class for two hours per week instead of four – the other two hours are “made up” with online activities. You can see a list of UC Davis hybrid and online classes here. […]

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