Tips for hybrid teaching
Some top tips to keep in mind when planning changes to your teaching as a result of external circumstances.
It is important to remember that good teaching whether face to face, digital or a hybrid mix of both, has some of the same principles: a strong teacher presence, engaged learning communities, contact time between teacher and student and for students in pairs or groups. The following tips are designed to facilitate that as simply as possible and minimise disruption both for you and your students.
Keep it simple. See the technology as servicing some core teaching functions and only choose what you need in relation to external restraints. Video for lectures (if you lecture), discussion boards for debates and dialogue, a virtual learning environment for hosting your content, a well-structured reading list, maybe a blog for student reflection and group work.
Get professional advice and ask for help early on if you can. Speak to your school learning technologist and IT support; Information Services staff, IAD staff and librarians are here to help and advise.
Communicate with students. This is critical. Let them know we are trying something new and why. Let them know where to go and who to contact if they run into difficulty. Get them talking on the discussion boards with prompts and questions at regular intervals.
Discuss with your colleagues and networks of contacts at other universities how they may have used technology in similar situations teaching in similar disciplines. Many universities offer the same or very similar learning technologies, so sharing practice can be helpful to someone you know.
Your students may already know you, but you need to show them you are present online as well as in person: a picture of yourself, some short videos, encouragement on the discussion boards. Videos don’t need to be perfect. Showing personality has currency in the online space and is especially important when teaching in hybrid mode.
Consider assessments. Do you need to rethink the assessments if you are moving to a hybrid teaching approach? You might. There are many ways to do this and most aren’t too complicated.
Consider which parts of your course such as fieldwork, labs, studios and practicals may have to be cancelled or changed. Think about the adjustments you have previously made for students with disabilities, are those alternative versions appropriate for all your students now?
Be aware of accessibility. Not all of your students will be able to fully participate in your course, or get the most from your teaching, in the same way, so try to make your online teaching, and teaching materials, as accessible as possible. Find out more on our Learning Technology and Accessibility pages, which include a handy set of accessibilty checklists.
Do the best you can :) we understand this will be new and different for many teachers.