IDT Hybrid Blended Learning Model
Distance Education & IDT
The IDT Master of Science, Master of Education, and all certificate programs are offered as Hybrid-Blended Learning. Hybrid refers to the ability for both on-campus and distance students to take classes. This means that some students may enroll in campus classes and attend these classes in person, while others will enroll in them as online classes and attend classes via our distance technology as described below. Blended refers to the way we offer each course; some class sessions are done synchronously ("live" class sessions where all "attend" at the same time) and some are done asynchronously (students participate in class activities and sessions at their own time and place of choice). Because we are both hybrid and blended, both on-campus and distance students will experience the same live class sessions AND the same asynchronous learning during weeks where the class does not meet live.
How Does the Hybrid-Blended Model Work?
First, each course will have some synchronous (live) class sessions, with the rest being asynchronous (at the place and time of your choosing). For the live sessions, students may attend on-campus in the actual classroom, or they may participate through our audio/video conferencing system. This latter system is comprised of a camera feed of the classroom and any students attending in person. This feed goes out live to all distance students, with the potential for them to send video back to the classroom as well. Two-way audio between the instructor and students in the classroom and wherever the distance students are is provided in real time as well. In addition, the instructor is able to share his or her computer screen with everyone off campus, so they see whatever lecture and instructional materials (powerpoints, etc.) he or she is presenting to the students who are there in person. In this manner, class lectures, discussion, presentation, and collaboration are done seamlessly, in a nearly identical fashion to traditional classes.
The asynchronous sessions are handled through oiur course management systems, currently eZ and Blackboard. Distance and on-campus students use these tools to read material assigned by the teacher, turn in assignments, communicate through message systems, participate in discussions through threaded discussion tools, take tests, and see assignment grades. There are assignments and participation activities every week, whether the class meets live or not. In this way, students get the best of both worlds: the flexibility of distance learning and the personal contact and connection of face-to-face instruction. We have been using and refining this model since 2006, and it has been very successful.