Strategies for Planning an Online or Hybrid Course

Many faculty and instructors are starting to plan for Fall courses. If you will be teaching an online or hybrid course, the BC Libraries can assist you in finding the best material and content delivery strategies appropriate for online students. As you design your course, we can review your reading list to make sure all the material you want to use in your teaching will be accessible to your students. We can also offer support for your students’ developing research skills with tutorials, embedded librarians, and synchronous online library instruction. This article will review some issues to consider and offer advice based on different types of teaching material.

For books, we will search for an online version. You may have found an e-book on Amazon, but the Kindle version is only available for sale to individuals and not to institutions. We will check our suppliers to see if we can license the e-book version and determine if we can we buy access for unlimited users, so that all your students can use the book at the same time.  E-book rights can be restrictive, so we want to make sure we have unlimited use or the right number of copies available depending on the size of the class. We also want to offer the ability to download chapters so students can read offline. If the book was never published online, we can scan a chapter or two and add the files to Library resources in Canvas. Due to copyright laws, we cannot scan an entire book, so we would need to limit the chapters or find other online material to supplement the book content.

For articles, we will scan print articles or download pdf files of online articles and add those to the Library resources tab in Canvas. Our high quality scanners will create fully accessible pdf files that can be read with a screen reader. If BC doesn’t own the article that you need, we can usually get it through Interlibrary Loan from another institution.

Streaming media is extremely popular; unfortunately it can be a challenge to access. Whether you want the latest Netflix series or just a short movie clip, we can help you determine what’s available. If BC owns a film on DVD, then we can digitize a clip of the video that you can embed in Canvas. We also can point you to online films in our streaming collections and negotiate streaming rights for films we don’t currently have licensed. If we have licensed a film, usually for 1 year, we will make sure the license covers the timing for use in your course.

We can also suggest Open Educational Resources (OERs), which are excellent sources of free online content and include online textbooks, books, articles, and primary source material. OERs benefit students who cannot afford the cost of purchasing or renting online access to textbooks or other required readings.

Finally, we can introduce you to online tutorials that instruct students on research strategies such as database searching and finding primary source material. You can also embed a subject librarian in your course to teach or meet with students online. This is just some of the support the library can offer for teaching online.  We are happy to meet with you online or in person to review many of the options that are available to you. Contact me at theresa.lyman@bc.edu or your Subject Librarian to get started.

Theresa Lyman

Online Learning Librarian