How To Design A Hybrid Course

How To Design A Hybrid Course

My prior two articles highlighted the benefits of hybrid teaching and learning & what are the efforts required to achieve the best results.

Today's post will address the faculty's concern regarding designing the hybrid course for the best results. Hybrid teaching is not moving part of the in-class session to recorded video content to facilitate free time in in-class sessions. The video content must be well thought out, supported with quizzes conducted on learning management software (LMS), and supported with an in-class session on the same topic. The scheduling of the in-class session is equally important as the contents of the in-class session. To summarize, the pedagogical initiative of Hybrid Teaching requires much thought, planning, and monitoring for its success.

We recommend following the below narrative to design a hybrid course and make the hybrid teaching tool immensely useful.

What should be the content of the video recording?

When you reflect on the class proceedings, there are times when the faculty is explaining a concept and the faculty are responding to student queries or moderating the class discussions. The first part is more of a monologue, and the contents are available in the textbook or web. In higher education, this part can be studied by students with some effort, even without the guidance of the faculty, as these contents are freely available. It is a different matter that students do not go through the contents before the start of the class. The Assurance of Learning (AOL) course outlines give a complete breakup of the class session contents, and students could benefit by preparing for the same. I have observed on multiple occasions that the students absent in a particular session have gained more knowledge than those present simply because the absent student has spent time self-learning the concepts. He may have referred to the class notes from his friends, but he seems to be better off by remaining absent!

The video content should comprise part of the in-class session where the faculty is engaged in a monologue and is discussing the theory. The students would seek to review this content more than once as it is information that the student hears for the first time. The video's pause and rewind option will aid the learning process. Any content that involves student interaction should not be part of the video recording. Although Hybrid teaching can apply to any subject, quantitative subjects like Business Statistics or Fundamental and Technical analysis are best.

What should be the duration of the video?

Studies have observed that the ideal duration of an educational video should be within 20 minutes. Please remember that the effort put in by students is not equal to the duration of the video but much more. It includes time spent making notes, pausing and rewinding, referring to books, etc. A 20-minute video could result in 60 minutes of study time. When we add a 20-minute quiz, the study time increases to 90 minutes. As the faculty records the video content, he will quickly realize that the 20 minutes of recording has much more content than the 20 minutes of in-class lecture. While recording the video content, there are no distractions typically encountered in a class. Besides, the flow of content is smooth and in sequence. So, restrict your video content to a maximum of 20 minutes. 

What should be the content of the in-class session?

The in-class session is for discussion on the application of the concepts. At the start of the session, solve some numerical problems to assess the student's preparedness. The instructor should have the data of the quizzes attempted and the quiz results. Additionally, the instructor should figure out which part of the concept has not been understood by the students. While engaging the students in concept applications, the difficult or unclear part should receive more attention. At the end of the in-class session, there should be sufficient time for questions and answers. The in-class session should preferably follow the video content's release to ensure continuity in learning and the application of the concepts. The video contents should not be released for all sessions. Only the content necessary for the in-class session should be released in time.

Suggestions for impactful video recording

The video content must not have glitches, clarity, or sound issues, as this could disturb the learner and impact learning. The faculty could consider a few points mentioned below,

  1. Use a good platform for recording video content like Loom or Panopto, which has editing tools. Once the recording completes the editing of the contents, the start and end are necessary for better effectiveness.
  2. A condenser microphone with noise elimination technology is always best for recording purposes. It will enhance sound clarity, which is very useful for learning.
  3. Use the facility of transcripts which will run at the bottom of the screen. At times the linguistic limitations of the faculty can be overcome with transcripts.
  4. Have a happy countenance while recording your video and, wherever feasible, smile.
  5. Speak slowly and firmly using presentation slides or a whiteboard to convey the concepts. It is better to reinforce speech with a visual presentation of the content.
  6. Use a green background while recording content. Wherever possible, an external camera lens is better than a laptop's in-built camera.


The effectiveness of this pedagogical tool depends a lot on the effort put in by the faculty to make it a success. With experience, the faculty will be able to make better videos. Feedback from the learners on their difficulties and suggestions would be beneficial. Faculty colleagues should be requested to review the contents of the video recordings; whenever feasible, joint course development is better. The quizzes should be of the multiple choice question (MCQ) type to judge whether the student has put in the required efforts in preparation for the in-class session. Randomizing the quiz questions for all students is advisable to prevent copying.

About the Author
Author: Pradeep Pai
Professor with higher education teaching experience of over 32 years in leading B schools. I believe in creating magic in the classroom even for the most difficult quantitative subjects like Business Statistics, Operations Research, Project Management, Supply Chain Analytics, and Services Operations Analytics.

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