Student ahoy !!! Or how to not lose sight of the student in a hybrid teaching environment

written by Zarina M. Charlesworth, EAPRIL Cloud 4 Coordinator

Cloud 4 is dedicated to innovation in education to allow for student and educator well-being. This often goes through a phase of co-creation between educator and student. What better environment to do this in than a hybrid one? As the post-COVID classroom continues to evolve we are seeing the increasing use of just such environments. In reminder, hybrid instruction generally refers to the delivery of a class synchronously in-person and on-line. This calls for addressing two populations simultaneously. The challenge here is to combine the face-to-face and online experience into one coherent whole, taking advantage of the strengths of both environments. 

From personal experience, discussion with colleagues, and reading the literature, one thing that that stands out is a real emphasis on the need to build community in the hybrid environment. This is to ensure that the students, no matter where they are physically located do indeed feel part of the class. This calls for : 

  • being available to your students through office hours that may, more than likely, be exclusively online in order to provide the same level of availability to all;
  • providing clear instruction through structured course outlines, shared lesson plans, good technical support, etc…
  • using collaborative options, such as chat tools e.g. TEAMS, Slack, and others, for real-time interaction between those present and those at a distance in order to better connect;
  • rethinking the integration between online and face-to-face activities through the use of a detailed pedagogical scenario which takes synchronous and asynchronous activities into account and outlines their link to the course objectives;
  • involving the students to promote their engagement through the use of a buddy system (one student present for one online) or strategic work groups for example.

Just a few ideas in the lead up to the Interactive Workshop on Hybrid Teaching proposed by EAPRIL  on March 29th, 2022. There is still time to sign up so please do so! Come ready to participate and learn how you can respond to the challenge of hybrid teaching.