Hybrid learning has become a new norm and has caught a large group of teachers off guard. Experience is required for effective hybrid learning classes, so here we've compiled a short step-by-step guide to jumpstart your hybrid teaching skills.
There are many definitions of what can be considered a hybrid class. We take as an example a case where the lesson is conducted to some students in person, while others participate in the same lesson via live conferencing software. What you will need:
- Video conferencing software of your choice (Google Meet, Zoom, e.t.c)
- Two devices (smartphone/tablet/laptop/PC)
- Projector (to present your files for those who are in the class)
- Wi-Fi hotspot
- External microphone (for better audio quality)
- External speakers (for amplifying media sound and your voice in large rooms)
- At least one computer
You need two devices: one for sharing your presentation/media files and the other for streaming the whiteboard. While you can do hybrid teaching with two smartphones, we recommend using a computer for sharing as it allows easier access to most of the features in the video conferencing software.
For simplicity, we'll refer to them as a presentation device and a streaming device. Steps to set up a hybrid classroom:
- Connect your external speakers and microphone to your presentation device (Optional)
- Check that the microphone and speakers on your presentation device are working correctly
- Connect your presentation device to the projector, check that the projection image fits the whiteboard
- Place your streaming device, so it can capture the whole whiteboard
- Launch a video conferencing room on your presentation device
- Connect the streaming device to the conference room
- Disable audio on the streaming device
- Share the screen on the presentation device and open the slides/media that you will present
- Invite students to join your conference room by sharing a link
Now you can present to the class at the whiteboard, while online participants can follow your presentation and video stream of the lecture. Avoid common mistakes:
1. Underestimate the setup time
While you can set up everything in 5 mins if you are a pro, better to have at least half an hour that will allow you to check that everything works fine.2. Audio problems
Ask a friend to join your demo conference room and check that he can hear you well. It might be worth it to invest in a microphone, so that remote learners can actually hear your lecture. Watch out for echo - ensure that there is only one device that is capturing your voice and the speaker audio is not affecting it.3. Internet connection
You should have a stable internet connection to host a hybrid class. Otherwise frequent freezes will distract your remote learners.4. Relying on batteries
It's a good idea to plug in all the devices that you will be using so that they don't run out of battery in the middle of your lecture.
One of the challenges that many educators face is audience engagement in the hybrid classroom. You can create an online trivia quiz with myQuiz to enliven your lectures, engage remote and in-class learners in a real-time competition, and automate knowledge assessment.