Online + : A Standards-Based Approach to Hybrid Learning

Rasmussen College uses a variety of instructional models to provide optimal learning environments for our diverse student population. Online+ is a model used to offer a blended learning experience for students taking some of our online courses. Online+ courses are those in which a live classroom experience is embedded within the structural of the course as a part of the instructional strategies utilized within that online course. Research tells that hybrid courses appeal to learners who want to capitalize on the benefits of real-time instruction, whether residential or virtual, but also need to process information on their own through online instructional elements and assessments. With the goal to provide a truly unique blended learning environment, there was a need to develop a framework for the selection of courses appropriate for Online+ delivery. The result was a standards-based approach called the Hybrid Framework.

In this webinar, participants will walk through the process for developing a decision-making framework as they utilize our framework for Online+ course development to select & think through how hybrid applies to courses at their own institution. In Rasmussen College the curriculum, instructional, and teaching standards are used as a way to solve teaching & learning problems on a broad level, but the framework creates a structure organized into logical questions that can be utilized to guide any type of process. Creativity emerges by providing the tools & support needed to make high quality decisions, while allowing key stakeholders to infuse their own expertise.

This webinar might be of interest to faculty and institutions that desire to create optimal hybrid learning environments, but a standards-based decision-making framework applies to any large initiative. The goal is to help others take the guesswork out of innovation, while creating a sustainable framework in which creativity can thrive.

Through this webinar, other institutions will be informed on how a structured framework can–

  • Provide a space for creativity, within a given set of parameters.
  • Lead to a culture of academic innovation.
  • Permit effective scale within a change management model.
  • Assist in the strategic planning and alignment of key initiatives.

NOTE : If you have questions about your registration or if you have a disability, use assistive technology, or may need accommodation to fully access a webinar, please email us at at least a week prior to the day of the webinar and you will be contacted by someone from our webinar staff as quickly as possible to discuss your needs.

Speaker Bio

Kathe Kacheroski

With 15 years of experience in online higher education with positions in areas such as academic advising, learning assistance, and curriculum design, Kathe Kacheroski currently holds the role of Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs at Rasmussen College. She brings an expertise for combining traditional higher education best practice with innovative delivery models. Nearly ten years ago, Kathe launched the first online Supplemental Instruction program, which is a peer-led collaborative learning program most typically delivered face2face, and more recently she developed the hybrid framework and standards for Rasmussen College in collaboration with Heather Zink. This framework creates a structure for creativity yet insures consistency and quality in hybrid program and course delivery. She is knee-deep in her doctoral dissertation in Education Leadership and Management from Capella University, which is titled Improving cross-institutional collaboration in the curriculum and course development process with appreciative inquiry, and would tell you that the most important thing she’s learned from her doctoral program is the power of authenticity.

Heather Zink

Heather Zink is the Hybrid Classroom Manager for Rasmussen College. She began her higher education career with the College in 2007 as the Medical Lab Technician Program Coordinator in Lake Elmo, MN. She transitioned to teaching fully online health science courses in 2008 where she was able to humanize her online courses through work with students in a live virtual classroom, podcasting, and additional video tools. In 2012, she was asked to take on a new role at Rasmussen helping faculty and administrators navigate the world of hybrid/blended instruction. As the Hybrid Classroom Manager she works to develop hybrid teaching standards that lead create quality in course delivery, with a goal of finding the right amount of face2face and online instructional activities for a given set of student outcomes. Heather holds a Bachelors degree in Biology & Medical Technology, as well as a Masters of Health Administration degree. Over the last several years she has presented at both the International Conference on Online Learning and Blended Learning Workshop Conference for the OLC. In July 2014, along with her colleague Kathe Kacheroski, she received an Effective Practice Award for the College’s work to develop a standards-based approach in creating hybrid courses, a delivery method Rasmussen calls Online+.