Is there a definition for Blended courses at Western?
The following definition a blended course was approved on March 17th, 2017 at Senate (S.17-71):
Blended courses have both face-to-face and online instruction, as well as on-campus exams. These course offerings are clearly identified by designated section numbers in the undergraduate academic calendar and lecture timetable.
In the identified blended courses, at least 30% of student learning integral to the course occurs in the online interactive learning environment. For example, in a half (0.5) course at the undergraduate level, at least 8 of the required 26 contact hours will occur online.
All courses that meet this definition should be identified by a 200 section number.
There is a need to indicate a minimum percentage of online learning activities in a policy definition so that Western can better differentiate between course delivery models, including 100% face-to-face and 100% online courses. Blended, by definition, is a course delivery model where a student’s in-person classroom time is reduced and replaced with meaningful online learning activities.
The proposed change in policy defines that a “200” section course is a course where a minimum of 30% of learning occurs online. A course that is 100% online will remain a “650” section course. Creating a definition with a 30% threshold signals that a blended offering is not the act of putting readings online for example, but rather 30% is a proxy for the thoughtful integration of online activities to the course curriculum.