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Glossary of Instructional Methodologies

This glossary describes some of the most commonly used terms in teaching modalities; however, before proceeding it is essential to distinguish between face-to-face, remote, and fully online education. Though all three methodologies share much in common, face-2-face instruction occurs in-person while remote and fully online instruction deliver learning digitally. It is not always possible to employ learning activities interchangeably between on-ground and online classrooms. Remote is delivered remotely without being intentionally designed for the online classrooms. On the other hand, “fully online” courses make most or all of the course content is designed intentionally for digital delivery.

At UC San Diego, courses are considered Distance Education if (for some or all students) ≤50% of student-instructor instructional time is designed to occur face-to-face.


Asynchronous

 

Asynchronous learning does not take place at the same time. In this context, students engage with course content (e.g., assessments, pre-recorded lectures) at times that best fit their schedules.

 

Distance Education

 

In the distance education classroom, instructors and students use software platforms (e.g., LMSs, video chats, discussion forums, blogs, email, etc.) to facilitate learning activities. At UC San Diego, courses are considered Distance Education if (for some or all students) ≤50% of student-instructor instructional time is designed to occur face-to-face. Distance Education courses must be approved by the Academic Senate and require an equivalent amount of rigor and effort as face-to-face courses. Once approved, the course code is appended with an "R" to indicate the remote/online modality of delivery.
- See Remote & Fully Online Instruction

R-Course Requirements

  1. Submission of an R-Proposal to the Academic Senate
    - R-Proposal Information
  2. A required consultation with the Teaching + Learning Commons to ensure that the proposed Distance Education course meets the standards outlined by the Quality Matters Rubric.
    - Generally, courses given the r-designation more often align with the “fully online,” than the “remote,” definition. ~See Remote Instruction & Fully Online Instruction definitions

Face-to-Face (Classroom Based) Education

 

In the face-to-face classroom, instructors and students meet in the same physical location, participating simultaneously in learning activities.

 

Flipped Instruction

 

Flipped is an organizational approach to instructional content, balancing didactic and active learning modalities. Students review information-rich materials (e.g., lectures, reading, etc.) in advance, and use class time for active application of concepts and creative engagement with the subject matter. Flipped instruction commonly employs a hybrid (blended) approach, providing information-rich materials to learners online.

 

Fully Online Instruction

 

Fully Online is a mode of instruction in which most or all of the course content is designed intentionally for digital delivery. An online course encompasses the thoughtful design of instruction, assignments, engagements, and interactions that promote successful learning in a fully online environment.

 

Hybrid (Blended) Instruction

 

In the hybrid classroom, learning activities are split between online and face-to-face environments. Importantly, hybrid instructors consciously tailor learning activities to the appropriate context.

 

Hy-Flex

 

A variety of hybrid instruction, and perhaps the most challenging methodology to employ, hy-flex classrooms meet simultaneously in both online and physical environments. Remote students watch a live-stream of the physical class, participating through facilitators, chat, and audio.

There are three significant points to consider when adopting the hy-flex methodology.

  1. As with the hybrid model, instructors consciously tailor learning activities to the appropriate context. Hy-flex’s simultaneous nature can therefore double the required preparation time.
  2. Communication between students attending remotely and the instructor is often not as rich as the interactions between physical participants.
  3. Streaming face-to-face classrooms can require significant technological resources. Without proper planning and monitoring, online learners often have trouble seeing, hearing, and participating fully in class.

LMS

 

LMSs or Learning Management Systems are centralized software platforms that facilitate online learning activities. LMSs generally include software for creating and editing course content, communication tools, assessment tools, student data tracking, and other course management features. Both face-to-face and Distance Education courses often use aspects provided by LMSs; however, for the effective facilitation of learning in Distance Education, a carefully considered full use of all LMSs features is required. Canvas is the supported LMS for credit-bearing courses at UC San Diego.

 

Remote Instruction

 

Remote is a mode of instruction in which course content is delivered remotely without being intentionally designed for fully online classrooms.

 

Quality Matters Standards

 

Quality Matters (QM) is a nationally-recognized, faculty-driven peer-review process used to ensure the quality of online and blended course design. The Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric is a set of standards used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses.

These standards were developed and revised based on research and established standards in the fields of instructional design and online learning. At UC San Diego, we strive to meet Quality Matters standards for our “R” designated fully online and remote courses.

 

Synchronous

 

Synchronous learning takes place at the same time. Faculty and students participate simultaneously in learning activities in face-to-face classrooms or via a video conferencing platform such as Zoom.