- Video Tip - CUNY Modes of Instruction
Top Tips - Modalities in Higher Ed Environments
- From the Community - e-Readiness
- Upcoming Event - TOPkit Workshop 2024
- Top Community Topics
CUNY Modes of Instruction
Understanding Modality Definitions
The definition of course instruction modality will help students identify how the class they have registered for will be taught. Understanding and providing definitions approved by your institution will help you as faculty developers/instructional designers create courses with the appropriate tools and levels of interaction as defined by that modality. The City University of New York (CUNY) does an excellent job defining the distinct modalities offered.
Beating the Modality Creep
Online learning has been making an impact since the early 1980s, beginning with Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) first electronic classroom in 1985. Since then, we have witnessed the growth and development of online learning from synchronous learning to video conferencing to Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and more.
As individuals involved in higher education, you have heard terms used that just left you confused, but you are not alone. In higher ed, we routinely divide “modalities” or “course delivery methods” into three overarching categories: Fully Online Modalities, Partially Online Modalities, and Traditional Modality. These categories are consistent. Where things begin to get a bit more complex is when institutions begin to define the specific delivery methods that fit under these three umbrellas. Regardless of the delivery method, the goal is for the quality of the instruction to be the same. We should focus on the best practices for that modality including pedagogy, content, and assessment.
The tables below, while not inclusive of all existing modes, help to show how complex these categories can be!
Traditional Online, Asynchronous Online, Web-Based, AD (All Distance)
Course is delivered through asynchronous online instruction without regularly scheduled, live class meetings online. Online courses are conducted via flexible, asynchronous web-based instruction and collaborating using various technologies.
Synchronous Online, Other Distance Mode, Video, Live Online, Real-Time Virtual, PD (Primarily Distance)
Course is delivered through synchronous online instruction with regularly scheduled, live class meetings online.
Partially Online Modalities
Hybrid, Mixed-Mode, Limited Attendance, Hy-Flex, BlendFlex
Course requires both classroom attendance and online instruction in a blended format.
Face-to-Face, In-Person, Standard, Traditional, Classroom
Courses have required classroom attendance and meet on a regularly scheduled basis, in-person on campus.
Suggestions for Designing and Teaching with Various Course Modalities
As we continue to navigate the world of higher education, here are several suggestions when it comes to course modality:
Work with your administration, faculty, and instructional designers to clearly define the modalities at your institution. This definition will help your students understand the types of courses for which they are registering. The University of New Hampshire does an thorough job defining their modalities and explaining to students where to find the associated attributes.
When designing courses using new modalities (or new to you), utilize resources and professional development opportunities that can help to expand your knowledge. TOPkit.org has some especially helpful resources under “Develop.”
Work with a state group/consortium, like Florida Virtual Campus Distance Learning and Student Services, to begin compiling a list of the different modality types and definitions for sharing through different outlets such as Florida Shines.
The Key to Online Teaching Success
Learn about teacher e-Readiness, seven global themes of competency, and the Blended Teacher Readiness Survey grouped around the following identifiable competencies: dispositions, online integration, data practices, personalizing instruction, and online interaction.
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TOPkit Workshop empowers those who manage faculty development or prepare faculty to teach online with practical tools and strategies to enhance their vocation. Participants will enjoy the workshop for three half-day sessions as a live virtual event, Wednesday-Friday, March 27-29, 2024. Join us as we engage in informative sessions about planning, developing, or evaluating faculty development programs as well as networking and fun.
Strategies for Mitigating Student Anxiety
Online Instructor and Teaching Presence is Pivotal in Student Connection
In my recent classes, I’ve noticed students being more open about feeling anxious in an online classroom. I’m worried these students aren’t getting the most out of class due to the anxiety they feel. Are there any design affordances or teaching strategies I can use to help these students?
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Bren Bedford, MNM, SFC®, Web Project Analyst II, Center for Distributed Learning, University of Central Florida
Florence Williams, Ph.D., Associate Instructional Designer, Center for Distributed Learning, University of Central Florida
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