Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Community Member

Using Canvas for a hybrid program

4561927425_91d4a2dd11_b.jpgWe'd love to see some examples and learn more about institutions using Canvas for any form of hybrid program.

I'm particularly interested in learning how you would manage a hybrid course where students engage online, and meet face-to-face every other week.

If this is not something you're presently doing, all ideas are welcome!

If this is something you are presently doing, please:

  • Share any details about your approach so others can learn from your experiences!
  • Share a screenshot with your explanation, or even better, record a screencast with your narration, and upload a video in your response!

Image attribution: Flickr - Willian Brawley

12 Replies

 @Cindy_Masek ​, we use three standardized definitions that line up pretty well with some of these. Ours are web-enhanced, hybrid, and online.

PS we've been using these terms and definitions for almost 6 years. Smiley Happy

 @Cindy_Masek ​

The driver for us, of course, are those use/user statistics that are so important to both the state and its component colleges. Many of us would appreciate more granular stats, but state bureaucracies move at their own glacial paste.

Nice to talk to someone outside our system about this topic.

Good point   @kmeeusen ​  I'm in the world of private colleges and I hadn't thought of the impact of state definitions where state colleges need to maintain identical definitions.  Of course those definitions apply to us as well but we can have different definitions internally.   Until state's widely adapt that language however, I can see that movement will likely be slow. 

 @Cindy_Masek ​

I am familiar with Sloan's definitions, but as part of a state system, most of us tend to use the definitions recognized by our state since they are tied to our student information systems and  our use statistics.

There is some movement in our state to develop more granular definitions for hybrid, but not too much traction at this time.

Community Member

You all might find this document interesting. Updated E-Learning Definitions - OLC  The Online Learning Consortium (previously Sloan Consortium) has been working for several years with a large group of distance ed leaders.  These definitions are a culmination of their work to create some standardized terminology within the industry. I think these terms reflect how most courses are online in one sense or another.  I'd also be interested in knowing, how many colleges are considering making the move to use these standardized definitions? Deactivated user​ @kona ​ @kmeeusen ​

 @seanmichaelmorr ​

"Meatspace"? I love it!

I love your arguments concerning the current state of of teaching/learning, and especially so in light of the resistance we sometimes generate when trying to encourage faculty to try something the new.

As you stated, much more eloquently than I could, "we are all already hybrid"! Sometimes the jargon that we use gets in the way of what we are trying to accomplish, and adds a new level of "strangeness" to a topic someone might already be jittery about. I have been teaching online a very long time, and my first online courses were hybrid, because my goal was to "flip" the delivery around to provide more time for interaction and hands-on activity during the f2f sessions (meatspaceSmiley Wink). So years later I was very surprised when everybody was extolling the virtues of the brand new "flipped" model for instructional delivery - I had already been doing that for more than ten years!

I have many instructors who want nothing to do with learning management systems and online teaching, and yet they use an exhaustive list of internet sites they want their students to visit, web-based tools they want their students to use, are constantly searching for better stand-alone grading and gradebook apps,  looking for lecture-capture options, are budgeting for electronic whiteboards, send their students to the library to research topics using the library's web-based tools, etc., etc., etc. They are all already hybrid, but for some reason that term makes them think of a secret fraternal brotherhood with a wildly complicated secret handshake and decoder ring!

Thank you for articulating this so well.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Slightly off topic, but after thinking and writing using Canvas for a hybrid course and Using Canvas as Support in a traditional classroom​, I keep coming back to the idea that the lines between traditional & hybrid are becoming very blurred.

The example I gave for a traditional course has just as much content (probably a little more) and makes better use of the different Canvas technologies than my hybrid example. There are actually a lot of our courses that if you just looked at the content in Canvas (and not the syllabus), it would be difficult (if not impossible) to tell which was hybrid and which was traditional. In many cases the only real difference is the f2f time requirement, not the type, quality, or quantity of content in Canvas.

Makes me wonder how much longer it will be until faculty realize they already pretty much have a hybrid course, the just need to restructure a bit to cut back on the f2f meetings. Smiley Wink

Community Member

Slightly more than half of our distance offerings are hybrid.  Some meet f2f frequently (weekly, bi-weekly) for short times, and others come to campus only 3 times a semester for longer sessions.  Our hybrid courses are most often our best performing courses.  From the start of our distance offerings, we have treated hybrid courses as if they were online as far as meeting the same standards, including those for intentionally building a sense of online community.  I've told faculty to think as if they had two bodies of students, the student when functioning online can be that different from when they are f2f, and their needs when at home are the same as a student who never comes to campus.  Taking this approach has been successful.

If you are interested in looking into some courses, I could approach faculty for permission.  They are often quite open to "visitors" viewing their work, but not quite comfortable enough to put it in the commons to share - yet. 🙂

The vast majority of faculty at our school are teaching on-ground courses and I think a lot of them view themselves as only a face-to-face instructor and not an online instructor when in reality they are quite often already utilizing the learning management system for parts of their face-to-face course (syllabus, contact info, etc..) and as you said, have digital lives outside of the classroom. Last night our first Faculty Forum (live webinar geared more towards why instead of the how) was intentionally directed towards our instructors who teach the on-ground courses (topic: Leveraging Canvas for your face-to-face class). Quite often, once faculty realize they are more digitally connected than they thought they quickly start establishing an online presence in their traditional courses. Thanks for the post  @seanmichaelmorr  and the links!


Hybridity is an interesting phenomenon in the digital age. I like to think of hybridity as much more than just the combination of online and on-ground learning; and I actually think there's an advantage to broadening our perspective about what makes a course hybrid. My own feeling is that, in our connected and mobile world, all learning is necessarily hybrid. This is one of the advantages, yes, of mobile technology: information anywhere/everywhere. Canvas mobile apps make the classroom pocket-sized -- and in cases where teachers make use of social media like Twitter for teaching and learning, our learning environments become ubiquitous. Thinking about in-class vs out-of-class time, then, becomes only one component of understanding where learning happens. In this way, we can make fully online courses "hybrid", in that they take place in a way integrated into learners' lives and days. Likewise, a fully on-ground course can (necessarily is) hybrid because students and teacher both are engaged in networked, digital lives (PLNs, MOOCs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) that affect what they bring to the classroom.

I say all of this in both in order to broaden the conversation, but also to point out that we are all already hybrid. It often feels heavy or difficult to bring virtual/digital components into our lesson planning and curriculum, but if we recognize that we move between the digital and the "meatspace" with relative ease and without really thinking about it anyway, perhaps that can make hybridizing our classrooms that much easier. We're not introducing something unnatural; rather, we're opening up our classes to the way we live and learn already.

Here's an interesting bit I wrote. And here's another interesting bit on "flipping" that might be helpful.