There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to running your hybrid sessions due to the vast difference in student numbers, room capabilities and disciplinary differences. However, there are some activities you can do in any session that will help your in-person and online learners feel connected and ensure the lesson runs as smoothly as it can.
We’ve summarised some ‘top tips’ below, but you can read lots more about hybrid teaching, including key considerations and scenarios, on the Digital Education Hybrid Teaching webpages.
1. Start every hybrid session with an activity that gets the online and in-person students interacting.
Tools like Mentimeter and Padlet provide a space where students can input regardless of whether their attendance is physical or digital, reinforcing the idea that all students’ inputs are valued and equal.
2. Consider how much content is on your presentation.
It’s important to remember that students will be accessing your lesson on a number of different devices and screen sizes. Ask yourself – can a student watching this on a phone read the text I’ve got in screen? If not, consider splitting it up across multiple slides or just use words as prompts – we’re always a fan of less-is-more when it comes to presenting slides! You could also share your slides with the class before the session starts – this can be of particular help to students with additional learning needs.
3. Breakout group aware
If you’re going to be using breakout groups, it’s best practice to keep the online and in-person groups separate. To ensure those online are having an equitable experience to those in the classroom, it’s worth looking at this one-page breakout room toolkit, created by a Digital Education Student Champion last year, which considers problems and solutions for online breakout rooms.
Be clear about how much time they have in the breakout group and what is expected at the end. Ensure that the person(s) feedback back to the group can be heard by those in the classroom and others joining online.
4. Pause for questions
Ideally there will be space for students to post questions throughout the session, but ensure that you create regular pauses in your delivery to check them and ensure that students online are not getting left behind.
To further create a sense of togetherness, consider asking all students to post questions to the same place, rather than those in person getting priority by raising hands.