Author: Archana Alwar, Bellevue College
During these last two years in COVID-19 times, we have found ways to engage students, deliver content, and make sure that students have gotten as much as possible from their experience in our online courses as they did in face-to-face courses. As you transition back to campus, either face-to-face classes or hybrid, it is a good idea to review the design of hybrid courses so we can reflect on the opportunities and challenges that they sometimes present.
Even if you have taught a hybrid course in the past, you can review the planning of hybrid design. For your hybrid classes, flexibility to your students and yourself plays an important role because your students have the advantages of taking online courses. At the same time, you should be thinking about the transition to in-person teaching. You are not alone, and it is great that there are so many resources to help you with that transition and to make the best of it.
Whatever type of hybrid teaching integration you will be using, this needs to be clearly communicated in the syllabus from the beginning of the quarter. With this in mind, you can customize your students’ learning experience by providing various learning experiences with modalities, strategies and online tools.
How to Get Started with Hybrid Teaching
As you start planning your hybrid classes, start thinking about teaching models and about what your hybrid schedule might look like. For example:
- What will your course meeting schedule be?
- How will you communicate the schedule to students?
- How you can prepare to make your class successful?
- How will you design activities and materials so both in-person and remote students have access?
- What engagement tools will you use?
- What types of assessments will you use (discussions, assignments, quizzes, etc.)?
- What type of rubrics should you design?
- Where do you want your students to submit work?
In hybrid classes, you will need to decide what hybrid model you want, and when and where classes will meet. Will it be twice a week with one day in person and one day synchronous in Zoom or Teams? Will it be three times a week with two synchronous and one in person meeting? When making this decision, think about facilitating a successful experience that will allow students to engage and succeed.
Technology tools are a way to connect our students’ learning goals in an interactive classroom. Zoom, classroom technology, polling tools, video creation tools among others are great tools to engage students. What tools will work the best for you and your students?
It is important to remember that creating a sense of belonging in hybrid classes is as important as in face-to-face classes. That is why it is important to design your hybrid classes as if they were fully online. Regardless of if you will have all students in your classroom, or half in class and half attending Zoom, make sure all students have a digital device to view the class, slides, and breakout rooms. All students should be included in all activities.
When you think about accessibility in hybrid classes, you need to design our classes with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in mind.
Please remember that you have to provide all of your students equal opportunities to learn the content and demonstrate their learning. Since you want all of your students to have equal opportunities, it is important that you design your class accessibly. Things to consider are captions for all video and audio that delivers content, screen readers, and accessibility checkers.
You Are Not Alone
One way to make sure that you are not alone in the design of your hybrid courses and is to connect with eLearning and Faculty Commons for help and guidance.
In conclusion, you can use the sample guide below to consider as you design your hybrid course:
- Weekly Schedule- Choose a hybrid model for when and where you will be meeting students
- Communication- How will you communicate with your students?
- Assessments- What assessments tool will you use?
- Content- How will you design your Canvas modules?
- Classroom Community-Will you be using announcements, video tour?
- Accessibility-Accessibility checker, video captioning
Let’s not forget that if you need help, you can connect with eLearning and Faculty Commons. Happy teaching!
Last Updated February 7, 2022