Step 3: Instructional Strategies

Selecting appropriate instructional strategies are important for any modality but critical for online learning. Students rely on these strategies to prepare themselves for course assessments and to ultimately achieve the learning objectives identified by you. The selections we make can either help our students achieve mastery of the domain, or they can be seen as time-consuming tasks by our students. Due to a lack of physical presence with students, we often overcompensate in online courses by providing students with busy work rather than meaningful authentic work.

A simple way to think about selecting and organizing course learning activities is to divide them up in a similar way to how videographers think about video production. This process is called chunking in course design.

  • Pre-production or Pre-class Preparation 
  • Production or In-Class 
  • Post-production or After-Class Application/Reflection 

Answering the following questions is the simplest form of course design. 

  • What do I want my students to do before class and come prepared to discuss? 
  • What do I want my students to do during class? How will they engage with the course materials, peers and with you? 
  • What do I want my students to do after class? How do I want my students to work with the weekly content? 
Try this Exercise!
Chunking Learning Activities Worksheet

Calculating Learning Time

In traditional in-person instruction, we calculate total learning time using contact hours or seat time and hours of homework. Contact hours/seat time represents the amount of time students are in the physical classroom. In online formats such as hybrid and asynchronous, we transition learning time to a calculation of total time-on-task. This worksheet will help calculate the total time-on-task: Instructional Time Calculation Worksheet

Conducting Live Synchronous Sessions 

It can be a bit daunting thinking about how to manage an hour or longer Zoom or WebEx class session. Borrowing from the video production world, this worksheet can assist faculty on how to plan out the synchronous time: Live Session Production Sheet.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This list is by no means an exhaustive list of teaching strategies, but it should provide you with a launching point for designing your hybrid and online synchronous class sessions and activities. We are happy to add others to the list, so please feel free to share your strategies with the LATS team using this online form. Once posted credit will be given to all faculty who share alternative strategies.

Important considerations when selecting instructional strategies for hybrid and online synchronous instruction
  • Multiple strategies are important to break up a WebEx or Zoom session. 
  • Select strategies that encourages student involvement.