Right now the course is a combination lecture and lab course that's taught entirely on campus; it has one large lecture section and multiple lab sections. The lecture meets twice a week, and then the students divide up into smaller lab sections that meet separately. I have no plans to change the labs - they will remain completely in-person (at least for now).
I can, however, see two possible ways to redesign the lecture:
- Run the lecture portion of the course entirely online; the only time students would spend on campus is in the lab.
- Run the lecture as a hybrid; I'd introduce much of the lecture content through online activities, but then have a weekly meeting (say once a week) on campus to highlight and discuss topics in a more traditional manner.
On the other hand, I can see how having a weekly meeting on campus could be helpful. I could spend a few minutes highlighting key points, and then spend most of the time doing in-class activities (e.g., discussions, problem sets). Heck, the in-class time could even be a straight lecture, if that was the best way to help students learn the material. I'm a bit concerned, however, that doing a hybrid might minimize the effectiveness of the online components of the course (e.g., students might come to rely on the in-class material to the exclusion of online material), and that discussions might end up focusing on only the questions of a few students, thus using time inefficiently.
Unfortunately, thanks to the school bureaucracy, I need to make this decision by the end of the week. So, if anyone has any suggestions or thoughts, I'd love to hear them.
[Update May 1: The proposal is in; see this post for more.]