Digital Learning Hub
The Digital Learning Hub (DLH) builds and supports online and hybrid programs and courses. The DLH will initially prioritize development of fully online programs, working in conjunction with the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). Instructional designers at the CTL working closely with media and technology production specialists at the DLH and external partners will provide end-to-end teaching and learning support to faculty in the development of courses part of fully online programs and eventually, for online and hybrid courses that are part of Baruch’s face-to-face programs. DLH was designed as a hub and spoke model – to ensure that all support units work together seamlessly to provide appropriate support toward online and hybrid program and course development.
Hybrid and Online at Baruch Advisory Council
In the Fall 2021 semester, the Hybrid and Online at Baruch Advisory Council (the council) was convened by Provost Essig to further advance excellence in Hybrid and Online at Baruch, and build upon the recommendations of last year’s Hybrid/Online Instruction Programming Working Group. In January 2022, the council released its final report which was reviewed, approved, and circulated by the provost on February 2, 2022.
Convened in Spring 2021, the Hybrid/Online Instruction Programming Working Group consisted of faculty, staff, and administrators who were tasked with identifying both the short-term needs and longer-term opportunities for improving online teaching and student services in all forms, including fully online asynchronous instruction, remote synchronous, HyFlex, and hybrid modes. Myung-Soo Lee, who was then serving as interim provost, and Ann Clarkson, who was then associate dean and director of Continuing and Professional Studies, led the group’s efforts. Across its four subcommittees, this expansive group identified challenges and opportunities to online and hybrid instruction.
The Hybrid and Online at Baruch Advisory Council is charged with identifying best practices in the field, articulating the defining characteristics of Hybrid and Online at Baruch, and laying the foundation for an Office of Hybrid and Online Education.
Charge for the “Hybrid Online at Baruch Advisory Council”
August 23, 2021
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
The Hybrid and Online at Baruch Advisory Council consists of faculty across the three schools, BCTC, student advising, and student affairs staff and is chaired by the CTL director.
The Council will advise the Provost on the future trajectory of Hybrid and Online at Baruch as well as the design of an Office of Hybrid and Online Education. Toward that end, the Council is tasked with the following:
- Articulate the defining characteristics of hybrid and online education at Baruch College
- Research hybrid and online teaching best practices to inform future work
- Defining characteristics of online and hybrid education
- Measures of excellence of and assessment rubrics for effective hybrid and online education
- Instructional design
- Recommend operational definitions for “Hybrid and Online at Baruch”
- What is good online teaching?
- Fully online (asynchronous)
- Remote (online synchronous)
- Engaged Hybrid
- Recommend definitional mission for the Office of Hybrid and Online Education
- Identify hybrid/online learning spaces for further infrastructure development
- Student labs
- HyFlex classrooms
- Serve as search committee for the Director of Hybrid and Online at Baruch
Over the Fall 2021 semester the working group is expected to develop a report that outlines its recommendations.
Lisa Blankenship, Associate Professor of English and Director of the First Year Writing Program
Ted Joyce, Professor of Economics
Allison Lehr Samuels, Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and Lecturer, Management
Kannan Mohan, Professor of Information Systems and Statistics and Interim Associate Dean, Zicklin School of Business
Alexis Perrotta, Lecturer, Marxe School of International and Public Affairs
Mike Richichi, Assistant Vice President of Information Technology and Deputy CIO
Sharon Ricks, Director of Academic Advising
Thomas Teufel, Professor of Philosophy
Don Waisanen, Professor, Marxe School of International and Public Affairs
Kevin Wolff, Instructional Design and Blackboard Administrator, Baruch Computing and Technology Center
Annie Virkus-Estrada, Associate Dean of Students and Academic Integrity Officer
Members of this group have been and will continue communicating with the campus constituencies they represent throughout the fall semester.
Working Drafts – An Invitation for Feedback
Following are working drafts that show some of our initial ideas based upon our current research, outreach, and feedback. This is being shared with the Baruch community in order to solicit feedback.
From our work thus far, the Hybrid and Online at Baruch Advisory Council is exploring the possibilities that the following resources, services and actions might improve online and hybrid education at Baruch:
Increase Resources for the Development of Online and Hybrid Courses
- Offer Instructional Design activities that expand upon the range of hands-on support and are developed in coordination with the Baruch Computing and Technology Center (BCTC), Bernard L Schwartz Communication Institute (BLSCI), and the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). Services might include: develop course site templates, assist with graphic design, etc. )
- Create an on-campus video production space that records and edits content for online and hybrid course content
- Support faculty in the development of courses and content creation that incorporate best practices in accessibility and universal design for learning
- Collaborate and proactively coordinate with the Academic and Student Support Service areas of the college to create cohesive student experiences; provide these areas with additional resources as needed
- Expand teaching support (i.e, expand availability of real-time technology support services in HyFlex classrooms)
- Expand LMS support in coordination with BCTC
Coordination of Resources:
- Work across the college to identify, coordinate, create and share resources, tools, and high impact practices that augment online and hybrid learning experiences
- Coordinate technology resources among CUNY, BCTC, the CTL and school technology departments
- Manage the physical Infrastructure (administration of HyFlex classrooms and testing centers used by online classes in coordination with BCTC)
- Develop mechanisms to support academic integrity in online and hybrid courses
- Assist departments in the professional development of their faculty
- Update and advise department chairs and curriculum committees on evolving set of best practices
- In the spirit of promoting Teaching Excellence, work with departments to develop and administer evaluation of faculty and student experiences of online and hybrid courses
- Advise and support departments in the creation of evaluation assessments that foster high quality online and hybrid courses. Examples may include
- Course proposal evaluation rubrics
- Faculty teaching observation
Foster Growth Opportunities:
- In partnership with departments and schools, develop all online-degree programs: support development; marketing; recruitment; enrollment
Working Draft as of 10/27/21:
One of the Hybrid and Online at Baruch Advisory Council first tasks was to focus on the question of what we envision as high quality online and hybrid instruction at Baruch. The following is what we envision to be key qualities:
- Align with Baruch’s core education and institutional mission
- Teach research, communication and analytical skills that will be used and developed throughout the lives of our students
- Provide opportunities for increased metacognition of how our students learn to promote their lifelong learning
- Define various modalities (online, hybrid, hyflex) and align the mix of modalities with the strategies from Baruch’s three schools
- Design online/hybrid pedagogy that meets the varying needs of courses and programs (nature of the body of knowledge, class-sizes, types of assessments, etc.)
- Adaptive and agile
- Incorporate high-impact practices according to discipline and teaching context
- Adjust to changing student needs and environmental changes
- Adapt based on frequent and regular feedback cycles
- Foster openness to feedback and change
- Prioritize equity and inclusion
- Review and adapt pedagogical practices to support equity and inclusion
- Serve as a catalyst for social, cultural, and economic mobility of students
- View our diversity as a strength and creates opportunities for our students to learn from faculty and from each other
- Leverage explorative opportunities afforded by online and hybrid modalities
- Facilitate learning new theories, research skills, and their application
- Offer and encourage feedback cycles
- Infuse experiential and/or project based-learning
- Create opportunities for students to engage in our community
- Use NYC and other student locations; incorporate experiential and project-based learning
- Create opportunities for students to engage in our community
- Connect students to Baruch and CUNY resources that are engaged with our geographic and professional communities (i.e. Field Center, Climate Change Fellows, Authors in Residence, Weissman Center, etc.)
- Fosters a sense of community
- Enable social presence in supporting student and faculty communities within and beyond courses — to build online communities that are comparable to in person education
- Encourage community building by facilitating social opportunities within and beyond courses”
- Promote moments for social constructionist learning by facilitating informal and formal social interaction among students and faculty
- Draws from research and evidence-based approaches to online and hybrid learning
- Connect technology and pedagogy to support good online hybrid practices
- Develop and facilitate use of metrics for evaluation
- Foster a culture of academic integrity and develop practices that support evidence-driven academic integrity initiatives
- Appropriately resourced and funded to prioritize high impact practices and supporting infrastructure as opposed to cost saving
- Examples of infrastructure investments may include a testing center, setup to support high quality video recordings, appropriate technology platforms to foster a sense of community and to enable interactivity among students, and IT staff to support HyFlex classroom technology
- Support and facilitate faculty learning communities
These characteristics should shape the development of online and hybrid education at Baruch and serve as a guide to the OHL and the college.
Background: The purpose of this new office is not to duplicate the activities that are currently happening, but to help align them and increase the resources available to develop and teach online and hybrid courses.
The Hybrid and Online at Baruch Advisory Council believes there are opportunities to better leverage, communicate and coordinate existing expertise. There are also opportunities to coordinate among these offices in a proactive manner by being better funded and equipped to provide an equitable experience for all Baruch students, no matter the modality. OHL would help with this coordination and also expand the range of services available to Baruch.
Working Draft as of 10/27/21:
The Office of Online and Hybrid Learning supports the development and evaluation of online and hybrid education at Baruch College. OHL works to ensure that online and hybrid courses and programs meet or exceed those expectations that are upheld college-wide: that education be inclusive, transformational and leverages experiential learning and community engagement. Working in conjunction with the Baruch Computing and Technology Center, the Bernard L Schwartz Communication Institute, and the Baruch Center for Teaching and Learning , OHL facilitates the instantiation of innovative pedagogy and technology for online, hybrid, and Hyflex courses.
We encourage all members of the Baruch College community to share their ideas and suggestions.
Please use this form to submit feedback to the committee.
To date, the Hybrid and Online at Baruch Advisory Council held the following events to solicit feedback in the Fall 2021 Semester:
9/10/2021 – Zicklin Graduate Student Focus Group
9/17/2021 – Zicklin Undergraduate Student Focus Group
9/24/2021 / 9/27/2021 – School Deans
10/1/2021 – Zicklin Faculty Focus Group
10/5/2021 – Zicklin Faculty Town Hall
10/6/2021 – Zicklin Faculty Town Hall
10/12/2021 – Registrar
10/13/2021 – Marxe Executive Committee
Zicklin Graduate Curriculum Committee
10/26/2021 – Marxe Curriculum Committee
10/29/2021 – Weissman Faculty Town Hall
11/8/2021 Department Chairs
11/9/2021 Division of Teaching and Learning
11/11/2021 Division of Teaching and Learning
11/12/2021 Department Chairs
11/15 Center for Teaching and Learning Staff
11/16 Center for Teaching and Learning Staff
11/17 Faculty Senate Listening Session