What is hybrid teaching?
Hybrid teaching describes any scenario where teaching takes place at the same time for students who are physically present in the classroom with the tutor, and for students who join the class remotely via a web platform such as Blackboard Collaborate or Microsoft Teams.
Hybrid teaching can seem like an easy and efficient way to approach blended learning, but this guidance highlights that hybrid teaching can look very different, vary in complexity, and may not be as simple as it first appears. Whatever your context, there is a lot to think about.
Should I hybrid teach?
Colleagues are not encouraged to hybrid teach. Achieving a good student experience through a hybrid teaching session is not easy and typically requires:
- high cognitive load and multi-tasking by the tutor
- redesign of sessions to consider both student audiences
- additional IT equipment in the classroom (e.g. cameras and mics)
- strong technical skills and confidence on the part of the tutor, with the ability to resolve issues that may arise during sessions
- significant time investment required by the tutor for planning and set-up
Given the challenges outlined above, it is not recommended that you try hybrid teaching approaches this academic year.
It is recognised that, in a small number of scenarios, carefully designed hybrid teaching may be appropriate. Staff can employ hybrid teaching approaches in these limited situations if they wish – noting there will not be centralised support for such activity. Schools wishing to incorporate hybrid teaching sessions should discuss this with their Teaching & Learning Dean.
Is there any support available for hybrid teaching?
The necessary IT equipment to enable hybrid teaching is not available as standard in our classrooms, and DTS and TEL are unable to provide additional equipment or technical support. You will therefore need to carefully evaluate what existing and appropriate equipment and support is available to you and whether it will be sufficient to enable you to hybrid teach effectively. The lack of support available means you also need to be self-sufficient and confident about handling any issues which might arise.
The extent to which hybrid teaching can be successfully implemented, and the approach required, will vary hugely according to individual context. For example, it may depend upon your cohort size, the balance between on-campus and online student numbers, student and teaching location, equipment available locally, equipment online students have access to, or the type of activity you need to undertake. There will even be variation between contexts for the different programmes and modules you teach on. Because of this extensive range of factors, DTS and TEL will not be able to provide 1-1 support for your individual scenario.
We have put together further information to help inform decisions around the practical and technical elements of hybrid teaching. You may find this helpful, having read the information above, if:
- you are confident you have the equipment, expertise,
- and your School has discussed this with your Teaching and Learning Dean.