Today the focus shifted a bit for me. Rather than focus on imagining a complete new hybrid course, I am looking at additional tools I can include in my course next semester that support moving towards a partial hybrid course in the Spring and a more robust hybrid course in a year from now.
In the courses I teach, an overall goal is to have students become partners in the educational enterprise through sharing their personal knowledge and beginning to help to analyze and synthesize data that we collect in the class.
Today, I have thought through how I can use both forum discussions and blogs to support this goal. I am now working on how to create good forum discussions questions that can elicit rich stories from students about particular everyday lived experiences. The students would post these stories to a small group forum discussion. They would also read and comment on two or three other stories in their group and well as analyze all the stories posted from their group and write up a synthesis of where the stories converge and diverge that they would bring to class. In different small groups they would share what they learned about the stories from their group and listen to others talk about what they learned. As a group in class, they will be asked to write a final paragraph to post on the blog that provides some insight into the weeks focus. By posting a paragraph to a blog, I can use the blog as additional data for future semesters.
I have begun to plan using these new tools next semester. I will use these to begin to build more online sessions for the spring and then finally, a more robust hybrid course in the fall 2012.