Welcome to the Dual Delivery Student Engagement Strategy and Examples blog.  The Teaching and Learning staff at South Suburban College will provide strategies and examples to assist faculty in teaching in a dual delivery format. Check back often for updates as we plan to add creative and innovative strategies throughout the term.

What is Dual Delivery at South Suburban College?

A dual delivery class provides for both limited in-person seating and virtual students attending via D2L virtual classroom. Students must choose their preferred delivery mode section when registering. Virtual students are expected to be available at the scheduled class and lab times.

What do the Virtual Students Experience?

Remember, the virtual student can only see a small portion of the physical classroom, usually the instructor and white board.  The instructor can also share their screen as they showcase a PowerPoint presentation, website, or a variety of course content.  But if in-class students are talking and participating in the class discussion, the virtual students may only be able to hear audio (unless the instructor moves the camera).  These are considerations to keep in mind when designing your course in D2L or guiding in-class discussions.

Strategy and Example #1 – Incorporate Weekly Online Discussion Forums

The Set-up

  • To encourage student engagement with your virtual students, create an online discussion forum with a topic you plan to discuss in-class.  This allows your virtual students to feel like they have another option to participate and be heard.
  • To encourage building community with both in-class and virtual students, make it a requirement that both sets of students respond to the weekly online discussion forum.
  • Name each weekly discussion forum Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, etc., so that the discussion forums can be easily identified.
  • To encourage participation, provide feedback and grading by giving the weekly online discussion forum a point value, i.e., make it worth their time.
  • Let students know that their online discussion forum post may be brought up during class time.
  • See: How to Create Discussions Forums in D2L

How to Implement

  • Prior to your in-class time, read the online discussion forums and take note of interesting comments by both in-class and virtual students.
  • During your class time, call on two students who had interesting comments in the online discussion forums or that you would like to clarify specifics of their posts.
  • When students respond during class time, have them mentioned their name first.  This allows the virtual students to make a connection to the in-class student.  The virtual student may not see those in-class students, but they may have read their online discussion forum posts.

See it In Action – Examples

I use the out-of-class posts to guide in-class discussions”.
Dr. Jay Howard, reprint from the Teaching Professor Newsletter
(December 2016)

  • Dr. Jay Howard is a professor of sociology and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University and author of the book Discussion in the College Classroom – Getting your Students Engaged and Participating in Person and Online.
  • Dr. Howard uses this strategy for his traditional face-to-face courses.
  • According to a Reprint from the Teaching Professor Newsletter, Dr. Howard has found advantages to this strategy:
    • Encourages class-wide participation.
    • Students who might experience anxiety of being called upon in-class, may feel better organizing their thoughts in an online discussion forum first, then clarifying their thoughts in-class.
    • Since students know their online discussion forum posts may be brought up in-class, this encourages them to provide reflective posts.
    • Motivates students to complete readings required that week.  Students can be assigned to provide a quote from a reading in the online discussion forum or post something that raises a question.
    • Since Dr. Howard is reading the online discussion forums prior to class, he can determine where students may be struggling and if more in-class discussion is required.
    • On that same note, he can also determine if students are on track and he can now focus on other areas of discussion.



  • Are you teaching a dual delivery course and would like to provide a helpful strategy?  Email:  ssonline@ssc.edu.