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What Is a Hybrid Course?

Hybrid classes at NOVA combine face-to-face and online instruction into one course.

Course Schedule


A hybrid course at NOVA typically meets face-to-face half of the time and online the rest of the time. For example, 50 percent of the “contact hours”1 of a hybrid will meet in classroom on one of the days of a Tues./Thurs. or Mon./Wed. weekly class schedule.

See your Division for specific policy; some departments require different proportions — 30 percent online and 70 percent face-to-face, but not more than 50 percent online.

Onsite Class

1“Contact hours” refers to the in-class meeting time that roughly corresponds to course credits.

Example: Typical (non-lab, developmental) courses are three contact hours, scheduled to meet approximately three hours per week (Tuesday/Thursday, 8:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m.) In a hybrid course, half of the contact hours are not face-to-face, but must be accounted for as well.


Likewise, 50 percent of the “contact hours” of a hybrid will meet online through a variety of learning activities. For example, if the course meets face-to-face on Tuesday, it will not meet face-to-face on Thursday. Instead, students will be required to complete online learning activities that are commensurate with the second in-class meeting. These online teaching/learning activities can be different types of online assignments and promote active and independent learning.

Online Class

Homework & Workload


Homework is additional. A typical 3 credit course includes about 10 hours per week of homework, preparation, etc., in addition to the in-class hours.


Students can expect to spend at least the same amount of time or more on a hybrid course as they would in a traditional class.

Faculty can expect to spend at least the same amount of time or more teaching a hybrid course than a traditional course because of the additional work of course redesign, continual course management/maintenance and grading the online course portion.

Elaine George - Instructor, ESL