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Teaching Online
Home » Faculty/Staff » Teaching Online » Hybrid Courses

Hybrid Courses

Hybrid or blended courses include both face-to-face components (such as lecture and office hours) and online components (such as Online discussions, testing, and assignments). See the right sidebar for course type distinctions in our district. A hybrid class typically reduces on-site class time by about half, so that a face-to-face M/W class would have an equivalent hybrid class meeting only one of those days (M or W) on campus - the remaining time would be spent with online activities. Another example could be a science class where the lab is on-campus, but information and testing are presented online.

In fact, online components should be available for every class. All teachers at least use email now. Using face-to-face components only is much too limiting for modern students and teachers - a mixture is much more effective. Yes, adding more online components can be more work (and bring on more headaches) at first, but it is also more convenient and adds more variety to the students' learning experience. Each instructor needs to find their own balance between the two formats.

Comparable Activities


(presenting information - lecture, projection systems, demonstrations)

Slide Presentations, Video Lectures, podcasts, Blogs

(interaction with students - questions, personal applications, debates, explanations)

Online Discussion, Chat, Wikis

Office Hours
(few hours a week for student walk-in visits)

Inbox, Zoom conferencing, Chat

Paper & Pencil Tests
(Scantron, blue book, essay, etc.)

Online Tests

Manual Grade Sheet
(either on paper, software program, or using Excel)

Canvas Grades
(mostly automated)


On-Site Labs
(equipment, tools, technicians present)

Online (or at home) Lab Simulations

Handouts and Manual Assignment Collection
(papers, projects, homework)

Online Assignment Posting and Submission

Group Work
(meet in the classroom, library, or off-campus)

Assign to Canvas Groups
with online discussions, file sharing, etc.


How one divides and mixes these activities (on-site versus online) depends on the instructor or on course demands. For example, in a biology lab class, the lab could be on-campus while lecture could be online via presentations - or lab could be online via simulations and lecture could be on-campus. Some might prefer a discussion in the classroom, while others might find it works better online in online discussions. For those worried about security, testing could be done on-site with other components online. Yet, for others, the convenience of online testing might be preferable.

WARNING: Some instructors have found hybrid courses to be disappointing for the following reasons:

  • students sign up thinking a hybrid course will be easy (since it meets on-campus only one day, rather than two per week) or have misconceptions about the online components
  • students seem to commit to the online part or others to the face-to-face part, but not to both
  • students consider the online components "homework" rather than half of the required class time (hence, any actual homework is considered excessive)
  • although preparation for a hybrid class might be less workload than preparation for an online class, the teaching workload can be demanding since one is then managing both online and lecture components without the benefits of either
Last Updated: 08/23/2019
  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District