Blending synchronous face-to-face and computer-supported cooperative learning in a hybrid doctoral seminar


Online education is often assumed to be synonymous with asynchronous instruction, existing apart from or supplementary to face-to-face instruction in traditional bricks-and-mortar classrooms. However, expanding access to computer- mediated communication technologies now make new models possible, including distance learners synchronous online attendance of face-to-face courses. Going beyond traditional uses of videoconferencing (e.g., real-time remote viewing with limited student interaction), this article describes the use of freely available technologies to support synchronous cooperative learning activities involving both face-to-face and hybrid doctoral students. Specifically, we describe the rationale behind pedagogical choices and specify how various technologies were re-purposed to create a virtual classroom space in which all possible combinations of face-to-face and hybrid students worked together in multiple small-groups across single class sessions. Implications for course development, the implementation of cooperative learning activities in online settings, and the use of both synchronous and asynchronous methods of online instruction are discussed.