Managing teaching for students in different locations - hybrid teaching
There is the possibility that, while the pandemic continues, there may be students who cannot attend face to face teaching. This may be due to local lockdowns or travel restrictions, or because the student is in a high-risk or vulnerable group, is self-isolating, or has caring responsibilities.
The numbers of students in this situation may vary from department to department, and given the global and unpredictable nature of the pandemic, numbers may vary over the course of the academic year too.
Students are advised to discuss with their departments if they are unable to attend face to face teaching.
It is important that any strategies to take account of students being in different locations are coordinated at a programme level, to mitigate against any risk of inequalities or sense of unfairness. Departments should review:
- the key learning objectives that every student needs to meet
- what exactly remote location students will miss
- where students might be able to access this content/development at other places in the programme
- staff availability and workloads
Following this review, departments should consider how they can support remote location students. One option might be 'hybrid teaching'.
This is a way of teaching synchronous sessions concurrently for face-to-face and remote-location students. Typically, campus-based students are taught on-campus and remote location students access the same session via a virtual classroom. For example, the teacher presents a synchronous session using Blackboard Collaborate to campus-based students (instead of PowerPoint) and remote location students access and contribute to the same session within the same Blackboard Collaborate session.
|Who might hybrid teaching help?||
N.B. Hybrid teaching is more likely to be effective when most of the students in a group are physically present in the classroom and relatively small numbers are online. Hybrid teaching is therefore unlikely, in most cases, to prove an effective way of dealing with situations in which many or most students in a group are self-isolating. There are ways of supporting students who are shielding or quarantining other than through hybrid teaching delivery. Additional personal tutor meetings or group meetings to discuss on-line teaching material can be utilised.
|What are the implications of this method of teaching?||
|How does hybrid teaching work in practice? (Delivery in a teaching space)||
Livestreaming a session using Blackboard Collaborate
You can use the teaching computer in a lecture room as usual, but open your slides in a collaborate session, rather than in PowerPoint/Google slides (or share your screen/use a whiteboard etc. within collaborate). Remote students can view the collaborate window and hear your audio. You can use Blackboard Collaborate’s features to enable students to interact with the teacher, e.g. through posting in chat, raising hand, etc.
The Digital Learning Team has produced a step by step guide to using Blackboard Collaborate for hybrid teaching:
If you are a regular user of Encore in-class tools such as course Q&A and interactive polling slides (please note these are separate to the similar features that are found within Blackboard Collaborate), this provides an alternative way to provide interactive hybrid teaching:
There are a number of teaching spaces that have been enabled for hybrid teaching (i.e. no additional equipment is needed):
There are other tools you can use within hybrid teaching sessions so that all students can contribute to a discussion, such as Jamboard. For more information, see our resource on digital tools for working with students.
Joe Palmer from the AMRC has made a useful video on hybrid teaching and suggests it works well for the following types of sessions/activities:
|Examples and tips from your colleagues||
Colleagues in the Department of Education (Hadrian Cawthorne, David Hyatt, Tim Herrick and Caroline Hart) have been using hybrid teaching, both prior to the pandemic, and in response to current circumstances. They provide some examples and tips for you below.
Hadrian Cawthorne’s experiences:
“In 2020, myself and colleague Dr Christine Winter organised a day of White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership workshops to provide ‘hands-on’ activities across a range of data analysis methods. Hybrid workshops were designed to solve the issue of time, cost, and environmental impact of travel for the students, who were located around the country. We used Blackboard Collaborate Ultra to achieve this.
Tips from David, Tim, Caroline and Hadrian:
Pedagogy and interaction with/between students
There is no institutional requirement upon departments or individual teachers to adopt hybrid teaching.
Where departments or individual lecturers are considering the development of hybrid teaching options, they should recognise and consider:
- The need to put in place protocols relating to consent and confidentiality especially in relation to the discussion of sensitive topics.
- The importance of ensuring that students have access to the necessary IT equipment and appropriate physical space to make hybrid teaching possible and that teaching delivery respects the conditions of individual students' Learning Support Plans.
- Departments should recognise the importance of explaining to students why hybrid teaching is being adopted and who it is intended to benefit.
- The interests of overseas-based students are accounted for. It would be wrong to offer hybrid options which UK-based students can access but not those currently based overseas.
- Workload considerations are accounted for in advance of any decision to develop hybrid teaching at a local level.
For specific instructions on how hybrid teaching can be delivered in our teaching spaces, please see the guidance from the Digital Learning team:
|Using asynchronous activities in mixed cohorts||
Asynchronous online activities in which students interact with each other, no matter what their location, will be key to building a sense of cohort if students are in different locations. These activities could include:
Our resource on building community offers further ideas for peer interaction.
Whichever method of teaching you use in these circumstances, it is important to make sure your teaching is inclusive.
What to do next - support available
If you would like to discuss whether hybrid teaching will work in your programme, please email email@example.com with ‘hybrid teaching’ in your subject line.
If you are sure that you would like to implement hybrid teaching in your programme, please fill in this google form.
The form, and any associated requests for support, will be considered by the Interim Vice-President for Education, a colleague from Elevate and a colleague from IT Services, who will be in touch with you.
|Links and downloads|