by Kate Lyons
In the fall 2011 semester EdTech began a new initiative to work with faculty to develop and offer more hybrid courses. Dubbed the “Hybrid Institute” after an earlier attempt at a similar incentive-based initiative, this new program is centered on a mentoring relationship. During the fall semester five faculty new to teaching hybrid courses were paired with five seasoned faculty with extensive online teaching experience. The experienced faculty members acted as mentors for their designated participants, guiding the new (to hybrid teaching) faculty members while they developed one of their courses as hybrid. The entire commitment was two semesters: one to develop the course (fall), and the next (spring) to teach the course.
Developers and mentors each received stipends that were divided into two major milestones. The first payment was made after the course was developed and accepted by the EdTech Leadership council. The second payment will be made after the faculty members teach their courses in the spring 2012 semester. Additionally, all participants (mentors and developers) were invited to participate in monthly gatherings to discuss issues relevant to online course development.
The mentor-participant relationship was very successful. One hundred percent of the participants developed their hybrid courses and all are being offered as hybrid for the spring 2012 semester. Thus, five new hybrid courses will be offered as a result of this initiative. EdTech is planning to bring in another five pairs of faculty (ten total participants) for the spring 2012 semester. The courses developed during this spring semester will be taught next fall.