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Course Formats

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health courses are offered in a variety of formats. Some course formats are delineated based on course structure (lecture versus lab versus seminar) or location (on-site or online). This page will give you some resources to use when thinking about the format of your course.

For-Credit Course Formats

At the Bloomberg School, there are several different delivery methods for courses offered for academic credit. Courses are taught in classrooms, online, and using any combination of those two formats. For a complete list of course section numbers/suffixes, see Course/Section Numbers Explained. 

On-Site Courses (.01, .11, .13)

On-site courses are what you might think of as traditional, in-person courses. These are courses where a faculty member is colocated with the students, likely in a classroom setting. These might also be called in-class or on-campus courses. On-site courses can incorporate technology as needed. All on-site courses at the Bloomberg School can use CoursePlus, the School's online course system, which has many useful tools to support interaction, collaborative assignments, assignment submission, exams and quizzes, document storage and display, and more. External tools like VoiceThread, Poll Everywhere, Twitter, and others can also be incorporated into on-site courses. For more information, see Technology for Teaching at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Online Courses (.81, .86, .89)

Online courses at the Bloomberg School are delivered through the School's online course system, CoursePlus, and are supported by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Online courses are taught using recorded content, online discussions, assignments, projects, and readings (and whatever else you can imagine—the possibilities are endless!). You can also schedule several synchronous "LiveTalk" sessions, where you will be able to chat via text and audio in real time with your students around the world. If you teach an online course, you will be assigned an instructional designer from CTL to work with, who will help you brainstorm and envision your course for the online format. You will also work with professional audio and video recording staff to record and edit your lectures.


If you are interested in developing an online course or modifying an on-site course for the online format, please contact CTL.

Blended Courses (.60, .61, .63, .6X)

Blended courses incorporate both on-site elements and online elements in one course. Blended courses are defined by a reduction in seat time (time spent in the classroom). Typically, seat time is reduced in one-credit increments; for example, a three-credit course that meets three hours each week in a traditional format is redesigned so that it meets two hours each week. (See the BSPH credit hour framework for more information on "standard course times".) The hour of seat time is replaced by one hour of "learning time," work that students complete outside of class in addition to traditional homework. In a blended format, lectures can be moved out of the classroom to an online platform so that classroom time is spent on active learning. This format can also foster collaborative learning that takes place in small groups that work synchronously or asynchronously outside of scheduled class time. Courses offered in a blended format are identified by section number and must be approved by the School’s Committee for Academic Standards

If you are interested in developing a blended course or modifying an on-site course for the blended format, please contact CTL.

Hybrid Courses (Section .01 or .60 paired with Section .41 or .49)

Hybrid courses have a .41 or .49 section (for virtual students) paired with a .01 or .60 section (for on-site students). A hybrid format is a great option for courses with students from both on-site and online programs, and/or programs that want to give their students flexibility about coming to campus. Hybrid courses have allowed students in part-time online programs to take courses that were not previously available to them. The Bloomberg School has invested heavily in classroom multimedia and information technology (IT) upgrades to facilitate hybrid courses for many classrooms, and the expectation is that hybrid teaching will continue to be of great value to the School’s students.

All students in a hybrid course are expected to meet the same learning outcomes. Hybrid teaching requires substantial effort from course instructors and teaching assistants, and appropriate support is needed, especially as everyone acclimates to this modality. Both the teaching team and students will need time to adjust to this course format. It is important to ensure an equitable learning experience for both remote online and on-site students, and that all course content is designed and delivered to enable all students to achieve the course learning objectives. 

If you are interested in offering a hybrid course, please contact CTL with questions regarding course design and Multimedia with questions regarding classroom multimedia/IT equipment.

Noncredit Courses and Materials

The Bloomberg School offers noncredit courses and course content through various platforms, including Coursera.

Coursera: Massive Open Online Courses

The School offers numerous massive open online courses, or MOOCs, through Coursera. Bloomberg School courses, taught by School faculty, are free to Johns Hopkins University affiliates who wish to enroll. The courses feature lectures adapted from the instructors' for-credit classes, rigorous assessments, lively discussion forums, and engaging learning activities. The goal of these MOOCs is to offer independent learners from around the world and from all walks of life the opportunity to learn from the School’s world-class faculty.

On-Demand Training Courses

Many centers and institutes throughout the School offer public health training opportunities as part of their educational and research programs. They are viewable on the CoursePlus On-Demand Training platform. These are freely available to interested learners at any time, and most involve both instruction and assessment.

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