CAS and CASNR provide flexible hybrid course models for Fall classes

With the fall semester looming around the corner, colleges are creating inventive course model designs to help instructors prepare their courses for instruction that will combine online and face-to-face approaches.

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) have both released plans that guide instructors to use one of four course design models.

CAS anticipates that while some courses will be offered online, a majority will be taught on campus.

Working off a framework created by the Center for Transformative Teaching, the CAS Teaching Academy of Fellows identified four course model designs that consist of in-person leading, parallel tracks, interconnected tracks, and online leading. Each model then has a subcategory of synchronous or asynchronous with an explanation of which model will best fit each course.

Detail of CAS course model process
This screenshot shows an example of what a portion of the CAS design course model entails.

CAS has also outlined which technology will work best with each course model and highlighted some of the instructors’ frequently asked questions.

Furthermore, CAS held a Zoom session that further delves into course model strategies to help instructors prepare for the fall semester.

“I understand it’s summer and that we [instructors] can’t be together,” Debbie Minter, Associate Professor and Director of Composition and Rhetoric, said over the CAS Zoom session. “But I do think it’s often useful pedagogically to be able to talk or email with people as you’re thinking through new pathways for your class.”

Like CAS, CASNR’s also has four design models which consist of in-person/whole class format, in-person leading, on-line leading, and on-line. A decision tree created by the college further aids instructors in selecting a teaching structure to best suit the course.

Detail of CAS course model process
This screenshot shows an example of what a portion of the CAS design course model entails.

Space permitting, in-person/whole class format will be strictly in-person for the entire semester, with in-person leading classes taught predominately in a classroom with some online learning.

On-line leading is the reverse, with most of the classes taught online and fewer in-person interactions. On-line course models will be 100% online and involve using Zoom and videos.

CASNR offered a Zoom session to understand the course models available better and had over 130 individuals in attendance. In the session, Larkin Powell, Interim Associate Dean for CASNR, explained the various hybrid teaching models that can be utilized when holding online and in-person classes.

Also speaking on during the Zoom session is Robert Vavala, Instructional Design Technology Specialist for the CTT, who explained the resources available to instructors.

“A lot of what we [CTT] do is one-on-one faculty support and consultations,” Vavala said. “We can help with the design or the redesign of face-to-face or flipped online courses, help with writing course objectives, content delivery strategies for large enrollment courses, active learning strategies, and the design and implementation of assignments, exams, and assessments.”

Any in-person classes must adhere to the guidelines set forth by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Such guidelines include following social distancing recommendations created by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), reducing classroom capacity, and having attendees wear face coverings. For the latest updates on university guidelines, please review

For more information on new approaches to online and flexible hybrid teaching models for the fall semester, visit The Center for Transformative Teaching.