Mode of Instruction
CUNY-wide official designations for Mode of Instruction are as follows:
- In Person: No course assignments and no required activities are delivered online.
- Web-enhanced: No scheduled class meetings are replaced, but some of the course content and assignments, as well as required or optional activities, are online.
- Partially online: Up to 20% of scheduled class meetings are replaced with online activities or virtual meetings.
- Hybrid (blended): Between 20% and 80% of the scheduled class meetings are replaced with online activities or virtual meetings.
- Online: More than 80% but less than 100% of scheduled class meetings are replaced with online activities or virtual meetings.
- Fully online: 100% of scheduled class meetings are replaced with online activities or virtual meetings. All of the class work, including exams, is online.
Accurate designation of a course’s Mode of Instruction in CUNYfirst is important for many reasons, including the following:
- Students will know when they register what kind of course they are signing up for, and can make the necessary preparations, which could include setting up email, Blackboard, and other accounts, and organizing their calendar (in the case of courses that replace scheduled time with online activities).
- Departments, and the college at large, can use Mode of Instruction data for assessment purposes, and to advocate for increased support and resources to teach with technology.
- The instructor will have official recognition for incorporating technology into the course.
The decision tree below specifies how to determine the correct mode of instruction for a class. If the embedded widget does not display correctly (there are known issues with Chrome on Apple OS), click here to see an image.
Web-enhanced courses. No scheduled class meetings are replaced, but some of the course content and assignments, as well as required or optional activities are online.
A web-enhanced course uses Internet-based tools for delivering course content or performing course activities. If all that a course has online is a syllabus and contact information for the instructor, the course should not be categorized as web-enhanced. However, if students are expected to use Internet-based tools to participate in the course, or to interact with the instructor or other students in ways that enhance the learning experience, the course is web-enhanced.
Courses like the following must be categorized as web-enhanced:
- Courses that require students to submit assignments or take tests or quizzes online.
- Courses that require students to access required materials (readings, videos, etc.) online.
- Courses that require students to carry out individual or group assignments (discussion board posts or comments, blog posts or comments, wiki edits, etc.) online.
Courses like the following might be categorized as web-enhanced:
- Courses that make optional materials (readings, lecture notes, videos, etc.) available to students online.
- Courses that keep an online calendar that students should check for updates to course schedule.
- Courses that require students to check their email or check a course website for routinely updated information on assignments or other course activities.
In Person Courses. No course content or assignments delivered online.
In person courses are not necessarily technology-free, since they may well use classroom technology (slide presentations, audience response systems, discipline-specific software or hardware, etc.), which is ubiquitous and sometimes even indispensable in teaching. But, importantly, courses designated as in person do not use Internet-based tools to deliver course content, to communicate with students, or to administer assignments or other activities.
Courses that are not designated in person should have information on the syllabus explaining details related to mode of instruction, including the following:
How much of the regularly scheduled class time is replaced by online activities.
What kind of Internet-based tools are required or recommended for accessing course content or performing course activities, and how intensive their use will be. It is particularly important to include information on any new accounts students will need to acquire, and whether these accounts are provisioned by QC/CUNY or by an external entity.
Whether the final exam will be online, take-home with online submission, take-home with paper submission, in person, or any other mode. For more information, see Guidelines regarding Final Examinations.
- The way that work produced online will be authenticated (e.g., students must use QC email to contact instructor, students will submit online materials using a university environment requiring authentication). For some recommendations, see Guidelines regarding Final Examinations.