Hybrid FAQ | HDFS + Portland

What is a “hybrid” course?

A hybrid course – also known as a “blended” course – is a course in which a part of the face-to-face class time is replaced with online activities. Essentially, with a hybrid course you get the best of both worlds – the flexibility of the online course component for accessing learning resources, engaging in discussions about the assigned readings and course content, and submitting and receiving feedback on assignments AND the richness of the weekly in-person component for engaging in collaborative and active learning such as reflecting on and extending major take-aways from online activities, puzzling through problems and exploring new questions, and even going on field trips!


What can you expect?

What does a typical hybrid course look like?

Hybrid courses blend face-to-face and online learning activities. In addition, hybrid courses are intentionally designed to offer students many opportunities to engage with course material, both individually and as a group. Students in hybrid courses are invited to actively participate in and even direct their own learning as well as support their classmates’ learning.  In a hybrid course, the instructor serves in multiple roles: content expert, guide, facilitator, co-learner and mentor.



Although there are many different styles of hybrid courses, here’s an example:


HDFS 201 Contemporary Families in the U.S.

This 3-credit, 10-week hybrid course combines approximately 90 hours of online and in-person instruction, learning activities and assignments. Half of the in-person class time is replaced with online activities. You can anticipate spending at least two hours each week engaged in this course for each credit. As this is a 3-credit course, you’ll spend approximately six hours each week engaged with this course, including the 90 minutes of in-person class time. Both the online and in-person components are required.


In-person component

The in-person component of the course meets every Wednesday from 2-3:30 p.m. for 10 weeks. The face-to-face sessions are for:

  • “Housekeeping” – checking in about how things are going, questions about assignments, non-content related issues;
  • “Notions-and-naggings” – informal opportunities for reflection and writing;
  • “Review, Apply and Expand” – group discussions about the reading assignments and online learning activities; field-trips; individual application of one’s learning.
  • “Brainstorming and Workshopping” – working together to review, synthesize and apply learning in this course for the final project as well as for one’s ongoing education, work, and personal life.


Online component

The online component of this hybrid course is delivered via Canvas, where you will interact with your classmates and your instructor. You will access the learning materials within the course site, such as the syllabus, class discussions, assignments, projects and quizzes. The online component is for:

  • Weekly required discussions connected to the weekly required readings and other learning activities; the online discussions will inform the in-person “Notions-and-Naggings” and “Review, Apply and Expand” discussions.
  • “Chitting-and-chatting” – ongoing discussion about issues, resources and opportunities of general interest
  • Nested Glossary and Annotated Bibliography submissions; you will also bring your findings from these learning projects into our in-person sessions during the “Review, Apply and Expand” discussions.
  • Mid-point and end-point self-assessment and course feedback
  • Submitting and receiving feedback on assignments
  • Supplemental readings and digital resources