Appendix – Course Delivery Decision Framework: Deciding which blend is best

It is not too often that we are called upon to entirely reevaluate our course delivery methods. In normal times, in-person teaching might be preferred or most appropriate. But these are not normal times. Over the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic surged, we were restricted to teaching in an online environment almost exclusively. In no small feat, we have accommodated the change in modality by learning new teaching methods. We have come to value some of the online methods that have benefited learners, while in other ways online learning has not measured up. At this point, we are looking forward to a return to the classroom. And as the tide turns in the pandemic, we have opportunity to do some in-person learning again, albeit in limited capacity. As we do what we can to limit the risk of transmission in a partial return to the classroom, we must reevaluate in greater detail the kinds of activities that are best suited for delivery online or in-person.

By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Schedule course activities that meet the learning objectives for your course.
  • Select a communication strategy and delivery mode for each course activity.
  • Decide which model best suits your course delivery.
  • Translate your selected delivery model for scheduling in Mosaic.
  • Use the CDDM-R workbook to document your decisions at each of the model’s levels.

What is the Course Delivery Decision Model?

The Course Delivery Decision Model (CDDM; Brinthaupt, Clayton, Draude, & Calahan, 2014) was developed to assist course designers and instructors to decide upon a mode of delivery for their course. It is useful because it offers a structured approach to evaluating the elements of your course. However, planning in the event of an emergency or a gradual reopening of campus is more complex than what the model affords. For example, online delivery presumes asynchronous communication in the original mode when synchronous activities offered virtually might be considered or preferred due to capacity restrictions or to afford greater flexibility for participation. For this reason, the model has been adapted to support McMaster University course designers and instructors who are deciding between course delivery models in light of public health guidelines and in the event that we must return to a fully online delivery with limited notice. The Course Delivery Decision Model Revised (CDDM-R) prompts you to consider in greater detail the kinds of activities that are best suited for delivery asynchronously/synchronously and online/in-person. To that end, the model is expanded to include five decision levels.

This work is a derivative of “How Should I Offer This Course? The Course Delivery Decision Model (CDDM)” by Brinthaupt, Clayton, Draude, & Calahan, 2014, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Unported. The original version can be found here.

The adapted Course Delivery Decision Model-Revised (CDDM-R) is being disseminated under the same Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license as the original.


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Blended Teaching: A Guide for Applying Flexible Practices during COVID-19 Copyright © by Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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