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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Online+: A Standards-based Approach to Hybrid Learning

Heather Zink (Rasmussen College, USA)
Jennifer Ayotte (Rasmussen College, USA)
Matthew Otremba (Rasmussen College, USA)
Session Information
July 8, 2014 - 1:00pm
Blended Models and Course Design
Areas of Special Interest: 
Innovative Blends
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Innovation and Experimentation
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Governor's Square 10
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Information Session 1

Come see how we use a standards-based framework in hybrid course design that guides the selection of the optimal online learning environment as it pertains to synchronous and asynchronous modalities. 

Extended Abstract

Rasmussen College uses a variety of instructional models to provide optimal learning environments for our diverse student population. Hybrid instructional models have been introduced in both residential and online courses. Online+ is a model we use to offer a blended learning experience for students taking some of our online courses. While the idea of hybrid instruction appeals to both students and faculty alike, the historical implementation strategies at the College had not been consistent or followed a clear design process. Research tells us that hybrid courses appeal to learners who want to capitalize on the benefits of real-time instruction, whether residential or virtual, but also need to process information on their own through online instructional elements and assessments. We needed to develop an innovative framework for the selection of courses appropriate for Online+ delivery. The result was a standards-based approach we call the Hybrid Framework.

The Hybrid Framework outlines the following:
· Curriculum Standards (criteria for course selection): What types of student outcomes best lend themselves to live instruction?
· Instructional Standards (thoughtful course design): How can we utilize various parts of the digital platforms we have to accomplish the desired outcomes?
· Teaching Standards (focused on faculty delivery): How do we empower faculty to make solid decisions around course delivery techniques? Can we align top faculty across the College-system to maximize student exposure to industry experts?

In this presentation, we will walk participants through the framework as they utilize the standards to select and develop a hybrid course at their own institution, maybe even an Online+ course— immediate application on the day of the conference! By presenting specific examples from our School of Technology and School of Design, participants will understand how these standards can be adapted to any type of course. With the goal to create a purposeful alignment of the learning experience, we will demonstrate how to examine your desired student outcomes and the tools you have available to create an optimal learning environment. We use Adobe Connect to bring students together in a virtual classroom as an integral part of our Online+ course delivery; it creates consistency in the curriculum through clear objectives, and we offer specific instructional techniques help all faculty to accomplish the desired outcomes.

We will also discuss a training toolset utilized to empower faculty with information to make quality decisions around course delivery techniques. While we might have a well-constructed course design, we still need faculty to bring the material and design to life. Through an innovative use of Adobe Connect, as well as instructional guides, we have gained faculty confidence in the approach and they are enthusiastic about teaching their students again.

We want to educate other institutions on how a structured framework for hybrid course delivery can
· Improve student learning experiences

· Establish an online community of learners through real-world interactions

· Create a space for real-time problem solving

· Aid students in staying current with field-related trends.

Participants will walk away from this session with the confidence to employ a similar strategy (or Hybrid Framework) at their own institution. No matter what type of institution you come from or who initiates the course design discussion (faculty-driven or instructional design teams), a standards-based approach is applicable. We want to help others improve the quality of instruction by creating a set of standards, or decision-making strategies, on which to develop courses. Through the standards, you can create a sustainable framework in which creativity can thrive.

Lead Presenter

Heather Zink is the Hybrid Classroom Manager for Rasmussen College. She previously worked as a clinical lab scientist in microbiology prior to making the jump into the education realm of health care. After working as a program coordinator for medical lab tech students, she has since focused her efforts on fully online instruction. Heather's professional interests lie in using hybrid classroom strategies and mobile technologies, as well as a variety of voice tools, to connect with students and enhance student interactions in online courses.