WORKSHOP: Creating and Adapting Instructor Resources for Teaching Hybrid Courses (90 mins)


  • Lourdes Fernandez George Mason University
  • Jessica Matthews George Mason University
  • Ariel Goldenthal George Mason University
  • Kerry Folan George Mason University
  • Sheri Sorvillo George Mason University



Teaching hybrid (blended) courses often presents unique design issues, including how to design to help students transition between online and f2f formats, between synchronous and asynchronous activities, and how to integrate content smoothly and use technology effectively. While there are resources available for teaching hybrid courses, they are often focused heavily on preparing the online or asynchronous portion of the course, with less emphasis on the integration of learning environments and the more dynamic aspects of designing for transitions between learning environments. During the fall of 2019, a group of writing faculty met and developed materials to support hybrid course design and delivery. Based on our reading of existing scholarship, recommended best practices for hybrid courses. and on our experiences in the classroom, we met and created resources to support hybrid course instructors; we also created a survey instrument and an interview protocol to gather information about how other faculty teach hybrid courses. In this workshop, we share with other faculty and program administrators the teaching resources we created, how we currently use them, what problems they seek to solve, and offer advice on how to brainstorm resources specific to disciplinary concerns. The teaching resources that we will share in this session are practical solutions to the challenges that arose from teaching hybrid courses. We created syllabus language and welcome emails to help faculty introduce students to the specific requirements of a hybrid course; FAQs to address questions about student engagement, course design, and troubleshooting; and accessibility resources for faculty preparing their course materials. One of the most difficult aspects of a hybrid course is making clear the transition between the online and face-to-face portions of the course. Discussions among the writing faculty in the task force led to the creation of a video that models effective transition strategies for an English Composition course. Although the video is discipline-specific, similar videos could be created for faculty teaching hybrid courses across the disciplines. During the session, presenters will first briefly describe the resources, their practical application, and answer general questions. Second, participants will work in small, presenter-facilitated groups to discuss the teaching resources, brainstorm how they may adapt them for their own courses, and create additional resources that emerge during discussion. The session will close with a short whole group discussion about next steps for the resources and how faculty might work together to support their own hybrid course design. Faculty will be able to consider other approaches to the hybrid format, as well as think more deeply about their own struggles and successes unique to this type of teaching. Equipped with hybrid teaching resources and shared knowledge from other faculty across disciplines, faculty will be better prepared for planning and teaching hybrid courses.

Author Biographies

Lourdes Fernandez, George Mason University

Lourdes Fernandez serves as Assistant Director for Advanced Composition; she teaches composition, advanced composition,  professional and technical writing, and rhetorical theory for the English Department. She earned a PhD in Writing & Rhetoric from George Mason University; her research interests include hybrid course design and pedagogy, the rhetorics of institutional responses to public problems, the rhetorics of research methods, and rhetorics of sexual assault.

Jessica Matthews, George Mason University

Jessica Matthews teaches both literature and advanced composition.  She earned a PhD in American literature from the George Washington University in 2005.  From 1999-2001, Matthews worked as a program assistant to the EDSITEment project, the education website of the National Endowment for the Humanities, where she developed her interest in digital media and classroom pedagogies.

Matthews has presented papers at the MLA Convention, the International Association for the Study of Romance Conference, the Popular Culture Association Conference, and the American Literature Association Conference.  In 2011, Matthews completed the Sloan-C Certificate Course in distance education, and, in 2012, was the recipient of the first Distance Education Faculty Outstanding Achievement Award.

Her current research interests include rhetoric/composition, distance learning pedagogies, the popular romance novel, and 19th-century women writers.

Kerry Folan, George Mason University

Kerry Folan graduated with a BA in English from Dickinson College and an MFA in Creative Writing (nonfiction concentration) from GMU. Her creative nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Southeast Review, the Washington PostGlamour.comHippocampusThe ToastLiterary Hub, and River Teeth. She received GMU’s 2015 Mary Roberts Rinehart Nonfiction Award, a 2016-17 Thesis Fellowship, and the 2017 Outstanding Graduate Student in Nonfiction Award. She teaches composition, literature, and creative writing.





MONDAY 10:00am-11:30am