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Understanding Different Instructional Modes

As KU reimagines student course experiences into more flexible formats to adapt to the continuing threat of COVID-19, online learning will need to play a prominent role, even in courses with in-person components. This document describes the specific course delivery formats defined by KU for Fall 2020. There are three broad categories of instructional modes. 

In-Person. In-person courses refer to a traditional course structure in which instruction is provided face-to-face, with about three hours of classroom time a week in a typical 3-credit hour course.  See this page for issues to consider when teaching in-person in the socially distant classroom

Online. Online courses have no face-to-face interaction or instruction; rather, all of the instruction is provided online.

Hybrid. Hybrid courses (sometimes called blended courses), replace a portion of face-to-face instruction with online learning. The amount of instruction that is replaced by online coursework, as well as the distribution of online and in-person time over a semester, may vary. Hybrid courses may also vary in terms of the relation between the in-person and online components. Hybrid courses that meet infrequently are coded as "Hybrid Online" courses, whereas those that meet in-person more often are considered "Hybrid Classroom." See this page on Understanding Hybrid Course Designations for more information. 

Alternating Cohorts. Some Hybrid courses are organized around an alternating cohort schedule in order to meet social distancing requirements. For instance, for a T/TH schedule, one cohort of student attends class in-person on Tuesday and the other cohort attends in-person on Thursday.  If you are teaching a course with this model, you will need to consider the following:

  • How will I use my face-to-face time with students?
  • What is the relationship between the face-to-face activities and the learning activities completed online?   
  • What will my students do on the alternate (online) days? Students may be expected to carry out online activities during class time (e.g., working in groups), or complete online learning activities asynchronously.  
  • What will I do on the alternating days? Will the in-person class period be the same for both cohorts?

Refer to our guidebook page on planning alternating cohort models for more guidance on thinking through these issues. 

In-Person AND Online. Some courses are scheduled with both an In-Person section and an Online section. In these courses, one group of students is taking the course online, and a different group of students is taking the course in the face-to-face mode. The easiest way to manage this type of model is to plan the course for fully online delivery, and then determine the best use of face-to-face time. Refer to the sections on Planning Instructional Activities, and Creating Options for Remote Participation , for more information.