Exploring Hybrid Course Design in Promoting Active Engagement in extended curriculum and mainstream contexts


  • Siyanda Ntlabathi University of Fort Hare
  • Nomakhaya Mashiyi University of Fort Hare




hybrid/blended learning, course design, active engagement, extended curriculum, foundation


The current COVID 19 pandemic has propelled evidently all courses in Universities to be taught using online technologies within a hybrid mode. There has been a cry from the academic environment on how to make student responsive and engaged in a very lonely online environment as opposed to face-to-face classrooms that are seen as engaging and responsive. This study seeks to investigate in both extended curriculum programme and mainstream programmes how hybrid courses are designed such that they can promote active engagements. This is of interest in these programmes because of the approach to curriculum design in extended curriculum programmes versus mainstream programmes. The research design is that of an interpretative paradigm within case study design using a qualitative research approach. The sample for the study is made up of three faculties extended curriculum programmes and mainstream courses in a traditional University in South Africa. The main reason behind selecting three faculties with extended curriculum and mainstream is to understand the difference in how engagements are designed in the hybrid models in extended curriculum versus mainstream. This is to further enhance hybrid engagement between these two programmes. In each of these three faculties, two courses were selected because of their engagement in online learning and hybrid learning initiatives, making a total number of six courses. Activity Theory was used to analyse the hybrid/blended learning environments and focus group interviews were analysed to identify conditions, which enable and constrain engagement in these hybrid environments. The study concludes that it is imperative that academic development supports and enhances the development and agency of academics in creating active and engaging hybrid or online environments in both extended curriculum and mainstream programmes.