Strategies for hybrid activities
When students participate both on campus and remotely during synchronous activities, so-called “hybrid”, you as a teacher need to have a plan on how to handle it. Here are explanations of different pedagogical and technical strategies to make hybrid activities function as well as possible.
Design hybrid activities consciously
In all courses, some prefer to have a planned activity on campus, and some prefer to have it remotely. Hybrid activities can be a compromise, where students can choose whether they are on campus or participate remotely over Zoom.
Some activities are better suited as hybrid activities than others due to the challenges that arise from conducting it on campus and remotely at the same time. Therefore, the recommendation is that you consciously design the hybrid activity to meet the most common challenges. A helpful start is to use the pedagogical and technical strategies on this page.
These strategies focus on the pedagogical changes and challenges that arise in hybrid activities, and how you can work with them.
Provide the same conditions for campus and remote students
The campus students and the remote students over Zoom are two different groups with different needs. However, both groups take the same course and should be given the same conditions to succeed to the extent that is possible. The students also appreciate if it is possible to switch from campus to remote participation and vice versa.
Be present for everyone
- Target both campus students and remote students, for example by switching between talking to the room and to the camera.
- Ask a colleague or student to assist with the remote students over Zoom. For example, they can read out questions from the chat or give the floor to those who raise their hand in Zoom.
- Try to answer questions in the same way, regardless of whether they are asked remotely or in the room. Repeat all the questions for clarity.
- Ask campus students to connect to Zoom so they can take part in the chat, polls and other functions.
- Make sure that all material is distributed digitally, not just on paper.
Let campus and remote students interact with each other
- Give the campus students the opportunity to see the remote students and vice versa.
- Involve both campus and remote students in interactive elements, such as group discussions.
Inform completely and often
Tell your students why you chose the hybrid format and explain what support the students can expect during the activity. Hybrid activities are still new and performed in different ways from course to course, so students do not know how your course will handle hybrid until you tell them.
Go through the equipment that the campus students needs to bring with them, which tools will be used and how all students are expected to use them. Do campus students also need to be connected to Zoom? Should a common collaboration tool be used or should only remote students use it?
Be explicit with the structure of the activity and the social rules everyone must follow. For example:
- How do students ask questions and is there a difference between campus and remote students? Keep in mind that oral communication often favor campus students.
- In what order are students allowed to talk, for example in discussions? Should they raise their hand or should it flow organically? How do you, as a teacher, ensure that all students have a say?
- When, if ever, are students expected to have the webcam on?
- When can students arrive to the activity, online and on campus?
- How are students expected to behave before and after the activity? For example: can they talk in the Zoom room or should they go into breakout rooms to talk?
Feel free to let your students influence and participate in the creation of the social rules.
These strategies focus on how to use the technology in a way that promotes pedagogy.
Use the right room and technology
Plan equipment and room based on what you and the students should do during the activity. For example, you cannot talk to groups in breakout rooms if you are in the same room as other students, at least not with the same speakers and microphone.
KTH has several rooms equipped with the required equipment for hybrid activities; you are recommended to use them to make it easier for yourself. You can read more about hybrid rooms on the pages Zoom and hybrid rooms at KTH .
Minimize the number of new tools to reduce the risk of you or the students being overwhelmed. You can also ask the students what kind of tools they have used before, for example, tools for joint writing, and see if you can use that tool in your activity.
Instruct the campus students in using the technology
In the room there may be technology that the students are unfamiliar with and need instructions for, such as a ceiling microphone. Explain to the campus students how you want the technology to be used, for example:
- In which microphone should the students speak?
- If the microphone that is used is always on, the students should be quiet so as not to disturb the remote students.
- If the campus students are connected to Zoom, avoid audio feedback by asking them to turn off their microphones and speakers.