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Definition of Hybrid Courses

Effective Winter Quarter 2007 | Adopted by Instruction Cabinet, April 17, 2006

This document is intended to clarify, for the purposes of quarterly schedule development, the definition of a hybrid course and to distinguish the characteristics of a hybrid course from those of an on-line or web-enhanced course. While departments may offer other courses that mix face-to-face instruction with other modes, only courses that meet the definition below may be designated as hybrids in the quarterly schedule and promoted as part of the college’s hybrid programming*.

Definition of a Hybrid Course

A hybrid course is defined as one for which regularly scheduled classroom time is replaced consistently throughout the quarter by required activities completed at distance and managed online. The following parameters further define the hybrid course:

  • The face-to face component must be between 40% and 60% of the total course hours. For example, a course may meet 50% face-to-face and 50% on-line. The rationale for this requirement is as follows:
    • A standard ratio provides predictability for students and for the course scheduling process.
    • This ratio is in line with the community standard. Virtually all of the community colleges which offer hybrid courses define them as 49% on-line and 51% face-to-face, or visa versa.
    • There needs to be an upper and a lower limit set on the ratio so as to define a hybrid course separately from a web-enhanced course or an online course.
  • The ratio of face-to-face versus on-line time for each course offering must be established beforehand and cannot be altered during the quarter. Further, both face-to-face and on-line times must be scheduled at regularly spaced intervals throughout the quarter. For example, it is not acceptable to meet for the first half of the quarter face-to-face and then finish the quarter on-line. Face-to-face meetings should occur at least every other week. A course schedule clearly outlining the meeting dates of the course shall be provided in the quarterly schedule. The course schedule should also note that the course is hybrid and that it is delivered partially online.
  • The online portion of the class should utilize a course management system or equivalent technology.

To accommodate variations in course content and delivery modes, exceptions can be made to the above guidelines. However, to ensure predictability for students, these exceptions will require approval of the vice president for academic affairs. Requests should briefly state a rationale and should be copied to the division chair.

Scheduling process

Department coordinators are responsible for scheduling hybrid courses and ensuring that they are properly designated in the quarterly schedule.

  • Division chairs must be notified of courses scheduled as hybrid each quarter. See the details of the scheduling process for more information.
  • Hybrid courses incur the standard Technology Fee.



* Any course that replaces face-to-face class time with an online (or other) component must so indicate in the quarterly schedule. Department coordinators and division chairs must be notified of such scheduling variations.