Hybrid Observation Guidelines

Download Hybrid Observation Guide


These guidelines are required to meet the contractual obligations of faculty who teach hybrid courses, and will address the overall increase in the number of hybrid courses currently being offered. The purpose of these guidelines is: 1. to provide observers with a set of criteria that can be used while conducting an observation; 2. to enable the observation to be conducted in a manner that, if it is conducted in the online environment, approximates a classroom observation; and, 3. emphasizes the required connection between the online and in-person components.

For the purposes of these guidelines, a Learning Unit has been defined as a distinct group of learning activities and course content created by the instructor to guide the progress of students through a structured presentation of materials and must include both in-class and online activities centered on one or more shared objective. In a given Learning Unit, instructors present content items, files, and assessment tools (such as assignments, quizzes, tests and/or papers). These materials are sequenced in the order in which they should be read by the students.


  • Only faculty with special training or experience with online teaching may conduct observations of hybrid courses.
  • If conducted during the online component, the observation time should span a complete Unit of Learning and approximate the time allocated for a standard classroom observation.
  • The forms to be used for the observation are those in current usage in the classroom setting.
  • The observer and the observee will arrange either the date and time for the in-person observation to take place or the week over which the observer can review a Learning Unit on Blackboard. Following this arrangement, the observer will send the written Notice of Observation to the observee.
  • For observations conducted on Blackboard:
    • The observee will provide the observer with student-role access to the course on the agreed date and time.
    • The observee will inform the observer of the first and final announcements for the Learning Unit being observed.
    • Observers should not be compelled to respond to each of the items suggested in this set of guidelines but should include mention of the existence (or lack thereof) of a connection between the face-to-face and online activities.
  • For observations conducted during face-to-face sessions:
    • The observee will communicate with the observer the objectives of the Learning Unit and provide information on related online activities.
  • The post-observation conference shall include the observee and the observer. If the presence of a third party is requested by the observee or the observer, the faculty member chosen should have training or experience in hybrid teaching.
  • Because Question I represents perhaps the most comprehensive of all the questions, we recommend that it be completed after Questions II through IV are done. Question I calls for the elevator to examine the instructor’s ability to incorporate all the specific academic goals of the unit, using the tools provided by the particular course-development software.
  • Questions V-VII from the current form do not require special guidelines for the observation of hybrid courses.


 I. How effectively does the instructor demonstrate organization/presentation of the material?

With regard to this learning unit, has the instructor provided:

  • Adequate announcements and directions to enable easy transition between face-to-face session and online component?
  • A clear, logical and consistent path through the Blackboard site?
  • A clear, logical and consistent path between the face-to-face and Blackboard components?
  • A clear statement of specific goals and expected outcome discussed both in-class and online?
  • A clear connection and transition between the face-to-face and online components?
  • Appropriate assignments and/or assessment items?
  • Sufficient content either directly or through links and other reference?
  • Relevant and clearly-presented content?
  • Active and appropriate links?
  • A Chart of Assignments?

II. How effectively does the instructor demonstrate knowledge of the subject matter?

With regard to this learning unit:

  • Is the content thematically-integrated?
  • Is the content addressed in both in-person and hybrid tasks and materials?
  • Is the content clear and accurate?
  • Is the language appropriate for the audience?
  • Does the content reflect awareness of current trends and developments?

 III. How effectively does the instructor motivate and encourage students to respond to the material presented?

With regard to this learning unit, to what extent does the instructor:

  • Provide compelling instructions of the assignment to be completed by the students?
  • Provide opportunities for students to integrate different types of knowledge?
  • Value student discussion and participation on Blackboard or other forms of interaction such blogs, wikis, etc.?
  • Encourage student-to-student interaction?
  • Address questions and issues presented by students?
  • Give positive feedback to students’ postings and ideas?
  • Achieve and maintain a balance between the medium and the content?
  • Clearly state their office hours and availability?

 IV. How effectively does the instructor influence the classroom atmosphere and learning environment?

With regard to this learning unit:

  • Is there an explicit policy about both face-to-face and online course conduct posted in the Course Information area? If so, is there evidence that this policy is being followed?
  • Is there a policy on addressing system reliability issues?

 V. Was the objective of the lesson attained?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not Sure

VI. Total impression of the lesson. Highlight strengths/weaknesses.

VII. Recommendations for the instructor and/or alternatives that can be tried in the classroom (Optional).