A recent hot topic at Baruch has been hybrid and online teaching and learning.
It has been a hot topic because there is a plan to teach several introductory courses online.
According to the Registrar, a hybrid course encompasses one-third to two-thirds of online instruction, whereas an online course has at least two-thirds of online instruction.
During the fall 2009 semester Baruch entered this online teaching realm by offering three fully online courses and one partially online course.
However, about 2,000 students were enrolled in hybrid and online courses by Fall 2011.
Demand for these courses grew quickly and worked to cater to the demand.
On May 17, 2010 Baruch’s Committee on Online and Hybrid Education released a report concerning pedagogical efficacy, characteristic pitfalls in the area of ethics and academic honesty, and practical strengths and limitations of hybrid and online education.
They did this in order to research different teaching styles, assessments, and the academic integrity flaws that may arise with hybrid and online education. The report also brought the subject into other faculty committees as well as curriculum meetings, allowing the faculty to gain more knowledge and get involved if desired.
The Zicklin School of Business takes the hybrid and online education discussion even further by holding faculty workshops that serve to obtain faculty input. The latest one took place on March 21 by Linda Friedman, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
This workshop provided diverse prospectives and gave current hybrid and online educators the opportunity to share experiences from the classroom concerning their teaching style.
Professor Allison Lehr-Samuel shared “The story of how a mildly technophobic person overcame her fear of looking like a fool in front of her very technologically savvy students” that spoke of questions she had at the start of her online teaching journey.
The subjects of these questions involved interactivity, grading, time, and rigor.
At the end of the Experiences From the Classroom segment of the workshop many attendees utilized their colleagues by taking notes, asking questions, and sharing stories.
All of this is happening because not only is there an increased interest in learning and teaching this way but also a number of Baruch’s Performance Management Process requirements involve online education, one of them being the introduction of hybrid courses at both the introductory and advanced courses in the Weissman School.
Seeing that Baruch is a commuter school, having introductory classes available as a hybrid could benefit many. However, these classes shouldn’t be open to freshmen because they are most likely used to face-to-face learning. Therefore, if freshmen are given that option, attrition may increase and that is not good.
Despite that, the implementation of introductory courses online could be beneficial, freeing up class space and preparing Baruch students for a world that is becoming more and more technologically reliant.