How to Design Hybrid Classes

As we recently dug deeper into the area of virtual learning, we discovered a slew of advantages, ranging from better flexibility and efficiency to greater accessibility. But there’s no getting around it: face-to-face sessions are essential for learning. But what if we could have the best of both worlds in one package? That’s where hybrid classes come in handy!

But wait, what are Hybrid Classes?

Hybrid courses (also known as blended courses) are lectures that use web-based online learning like video lectures, online discussions, or virtual assessments to supplement conventional face-to-face training. Hybrid classes, unlike entirely online programmes, need on-campus sessions, where they typically give around 25-50 percent of their instructions. The remainder is delivered via distant learning.

But why take a detour from conventional teaching methods when alternatives are available? What are some of the advantages of these lectures?

Why Hybrid Classes?

  • Adaptability

In comparison to in-person classes, hybrid programmes provide more scheduling freedom. This enables them to fit courses around their other obligations. With recorded lectures and offline assignments, the students get to decide when and where their study spaces are, which automatically aids an increase to their concentration.

  • Accomodates a Wide Range of Learning Styles

A hybrid class adjusts to student learning styles better than an all-online or all-in-person program. Visual learners can examine slides at their leisure, while auditory learners may benefit from the opportunity to replay recorded lectures. Kinesthetic learners can work on online activities, assignments, and assessments at their own pace. Meanwhile, students who benefit from face-to-face interactions can keep in communication with their professors and classmates.

  • Face-to-face Time is Spent More Effectively

Face-to-face class time can be better utilized for things that cannot be completed through the online part of the course. Important questions can be answered, and more productive and significant discussions can take place.

But creating a course that is equally beneficial in the classroom and students’ living rooms may be difficult. Integrating face-to-face and online learning activities requires the instructor to reevaluate course objectives and teaching approaches. Managing both in-person and online environments can be difficult initially.

How do you design an effective structure?

It’s usually a good idea to start with a simple framework that connects your desired results with achievable objectives. Firstly, ask yourself these questions.:

1. What are the course outcomes?

Outline your course structure, and figure out if your course is adaptable to online teaching methods.

2. What learning activities or assessments will allow students to build or demonstrate their understanding of the course learning outcomes?

How much active learning, collaborative work, in-class discussions, evaluations, and writing do you need for your course work? What are some new techniques that can be implemented? You could even ask your students for more ideas!

3. Which of those learning activities or evaluations would work best in an online format and which would work best in a face-to-face setting?

Depending on whether your curriculum depends more on synchronous or asynchronous learning, separate different activities following your preferred mode of teaching. In case you already have a curriculum, adapt your study outline, course materials, and lectures for your online course and proceed.

For easier distinction, according to a report by Education Week, these strategies are best suited to each learning mode:

Classroom-based activities

  • Hands-on lessons
  • Interactive discussions
  • Work in a lab or science that requires supervision
  • Quizzes

Activities for Remote Learning

  • Viewing lecture materials in presentation or video format where students can learn at their own pace
  • Independent work like worksheets, reading, and writing
  • Elective, remediation, or advanced work

Online Tools for Hybrid Classes

Live Classes

Most live meeting technologies allow you to record, so you can typically use Zoom, Google Meet, Blackboard Collaborate, or Adobe Captivate. You could also record a lecture by sharing your screen if you have slides or whiteboard content to go through.

Breakout rooms are a feature of many live meeting platforms that allow you to divide your class into small groups and go from room to room to speak with each group, which may be beneficial if your class is more involved in active learning. Some apps also allow you to poll students or publish quiz questions during a live lesson!

Assignments and Assessments

When it comes to evaluations, it’s helpful to separate them into three categories: class participation, take-home assignments, and group projects.

Use online tools such as Moodle, HeyForm, and Mettl for writing assessments, assignments, quizzes, and essays.

You can also assign group projects and presentations with peer-to-peer evaluation and grading. Make sure to include questions for peer grading that students can respond to based on their experience and grasp of the course material taught by their fellow students!

Take Feedback

Taking continuous feedback is the best approach to guarantee that your system is working. Simple questions can generate meaningful comments from students, which can aid in the creation of a customized study plan that suits both the curriculum and your students.

Create a student feedback form so that you can learn more about what worked and what didn’t. This allows students a virtual platform to complain about any technical concerns, such as problems downloading materials, or parts of the learning experience that should be improved to make it more successful in a virtual setting.

Final Thoughts

Hybrid learning provides students with the perfect balance: They can enjoy the convenience and flexibility of an online course, with the added support and contact with teachers and students in the classroom. Hybrid classrooms are an excellent approach to guarantee that your students can manage their time effectively to fulfill course deadlines, have more productive conversations, and make better use of teaching resources.