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CUNY Hybrid Initiative

The Hybrid Initiative: Online Course Development Using the Blackboard System

During the 2010-2011 academic year, BCC is one of nine campuses participating in CUNY’s Hybrid Initiative. Participants in this program engage in a six-month cycle of training, preparation of course material, and carefully sequenced activities leading to delivery of a hybrid (50% online) course using the Blackboard learning management system. The sequence of program activities is as follows:

  • Summer – two or three full days of face-to-face meetings (ordinarily the first week in June), followed by online course development activities that meet specified, sequential goals.
  • Fall semester – delivery of a transitional web-enhanced version of the course selected for development. (“Web-enhanced” means a normal classroom schedule while using a Blackboard site to house documents, provide resources, and offer additional learning activities.) Participants also meet once per month during the fall term to share experiences and troubleshoot difficulties.
  • Spring semester – delivery of a hybrid or asynchronous version of the course.

This program structure follows the pattern first introduced at BCC in 2005, and which is intended to add well-designed, well-taught courses to BCC online offerings. As of fall 2010, 29 of the 39 instructors teaching 53 hybrid or asynchronous (fully online) courses at BCC are graduates of this program. Ten additional hybrid classes are scheduled to be offered in spring 2011. Participants collaborate with faculty mentors during all stages of the program, from June face-to-face meetings and online summer course development to fall “web-enhanced” course delivery and the spring hybrid/asynchronous course delivery. Mentors are BCC faculty members who are experienced and skilled online instructors. Generally, recruitment for Online Course Development Programs takes place mid-semester during the spring term. Participants receive a stipend, paid in increments, that corresponds to the achievement of program benchmarks.

Contact Stephen Powers or Laura Broughton for more information about Hybrid Initiative and Online Course Development Program. Questions about Blackboard should be directed to Albert Robinson or Charles Alston.

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