Effective immediately, Penn State will require all students, faculty, staff, and visitors — regardless of vaccination status — to wear masks indoors at all campuses. Learn more about Penn State's health guidelines.

Mixed-Mode Instruction

Fall 2021

At this point, classes will be scheduled using the University’s standard (non-COVID) modes of instruction. Visit the Instructional Modes page to learn more about the fall 2021 plans and find related frequently asked questions.

This instructional mode offers a mix of in-person and remote instruction achieved through classroom space rotation*, reducing in-person class time by including either remote synchronous or remote asynchronous instruction, using in-person class time for experiential learning elements, or some combination of these.

Each instructor will deploy their mixed-mode course in a way that works best considering the desired learning objectives. Some possibilities include:

Rotating lecture attendance where some portion of the class attends in person and others attend via a remote synchronous environment.
Lectures delivered remotely with small group, in-person recitations or problem solving sessions.
Lectures delivered remotely with small group, in-person laboratory or performance sessions.

In the rotation model, some students attend in-person sessions while others simultaneously attend those same sessions remotely. In the virtual enriched model, asynchronous or synchronous digital content is expanded upon in the classroom through engaging teaching strategies and/or in-person aspects that cannot be delivered remotely (e.g., labs, dance, art, etc.).

*If using spaced rotation, instructors will need to divide the class according to physical distancing guidelines for facilities — faculty support will be provided for this purpose.

Place: Room is assigned AND remote element provided (Zoom or other).
Time: Days and times are assigned.
LionPATH Code: CM – COVID Mixed Mode

Webinars and On-Demand Videos

Webinars and videos designed to provide critical information to faculty and staff about mixed-mode instruction.

On-Demand Videos

Watch mixed-mode instructional videos in KalturaMixed-Mode Teaching Demonstration

Recommendations for engaging students when teaching in a mixed-mode environment are presented by the Harrisburg Center for Teaching Excellence, John A. Dutton e-Education Institute, and the College of IST’s Office of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment. 

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Next Live Webinar

There are currently no upcoming webinars for this topic.

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Why It Works

  • can reduce physical classroom time
  • does not involve a complete redesign to the course, though up-front planning is required
  • allows for activities that require in-person delivery (e.g., labs, dance)
  • reduces on-campus class sizes to allow for physical distancing
  • students rotated into in-class sessions still benefit from some in-person contact
  • can optimize face time spent in engaged interaction
  • high degree of flexibility for students
  • in-person experiential elements are important for skills-based learning
  • student engagement varies; creating a learning community is feasible
  • switch to complete remote delivery would require little effort if pandemic worsens
  • students who cannot or will not return to campus may still be able to participate, depending on the design of the class

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Policies, Guidelines, and Documents

Frequently Asked Questions

Review the following frequently asked questions about mixed-mode instruction. For additional information, read all frequently asked questions.

Mixed-Mode Instruction

If a student is exhibiting symptoms in a classroom, the instructor is empowered to ask the student to leave the class and to see a health care provider. The student should not return to class until they are no longer exhibiting symptoms or have been cleared by a health care provider. For classroom and syllabus guidelines, including information about what to do if a student fails to adhere to masking requirements, refer to the COVID-19 Classroom Guidance page on the Student Affairs website.

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Resources for Enhancing Your Teaching

The following instructional resources have been curated by educational developers and instructional designers and reviewed by faculty throughout the University. They are offered in the spirit of support for instructors who need to learn teaching in new modalities or who want to enhance their teaching effectiveness in familiar modalities.

On-Demand Resources

These resources are for faculty who prefer to learn on their own, with a “give me the information and I’ll apply what works for me” approach.

Collaborative Resources

These resources are for those who prefer to talk with colleagues or someone with expertise in learning or course design.

“Explore Links and the Web” Resources

These resources are for instructors who prefer to do their own web research, exploring links and making conceptual and practical connections.

“Do a Deeper Dive” Resources

These resources are for those who prefer a directed and structured learning experience, either self-guided and/or instructor-led.

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