Hybrid Teaching: 5 Tips to better manage the Hybrid Learning Model
Updated: Aug 12, 2021
Hybrid teaching is hybrid learning’s more technical counterpart: educators also needed to adapt to this relatively new setup. Hybrid learning had been the talk of the education industry since the beginning of the pandemic. As remote classes slowly ease up, more and more students have become ready to return to school. However, due to different factors, technical difficulties could happen even to the best of us. To help educators, teaching assistants, and IT support, here are five tips that might help you manage your hybrid classrooms (online and on-site) better.
1. Synchronous activities are important but need to be complemented with asynchronous ones
Synchronous activities are those like live lectures, video conferences, telephone consultations, and face-to-face conversations. When resources are constrained, it is best to partner them with asynchronous activities. Recorded lectures, absorbing study and reading materials, instant messaging consultations, and deep work (i.e., asynchronous activities) must be maximized to highlight the importance of the time for the actual lectures. By taking time to accomplish these tasks, you will be able to take full advantage of the time for the video lecture. Moreover, synchronous activities rely on technological capabilities like fast internet connections and reliable hardware that may be not available at times, so having asynchronous backup plans will be the right complement to your hybrid learning setup.
2. Apply the Pareto Principle
The Pareto principle is also called “the law of the vital few and the trivial many” or the 80/20 rule. Generally, this universal theory suggests that about 20 percent of actions (cause) produce 80 percent of the results (effect). Although the Pareto principle does not constitute an exact percentage every time, the pattern is always the same: there is rarely an even split when it comes to cause and effect.
In the hybrid classroom, once you have identified the 80 percent successes, you will be able to notice from which efforts those have come from based on the patterns that you will recognize. The application can come in different forms, such as:
20 percent of your content will be fully absorbed by almost all of your students
20 percent of your students may take up most of your time (i.e., they may need more attention, patience, etc.)
20 percent of your efforts may cause 80 percent of the impact on your students
An example would be a math teacher to high school students teaching the quadratic equation. The teacher sings the formula using the tune of a nursery rhyme and takes up a mere five to ten minutes of the class session. However, this small but impactful effort was fully absorbed by the students, allowing them to remember the quadratic formula years after the lesson was taught. So by recognizing which efforts have the highest impact, allows teachers to work smarter by following “less is more”. This also suggests that striving for perfection could only bring headaches and stress. Instead, we should strive for excellence to bring forth the greatest outcome possible.
3. Be kind to yourself (and to others as well)
We live in a fast-paced world and technology is evolving faster than we can effectively cope with. However, we need to give allowance to ourselves and permit some trial-and-errors at some point. Adapting to the remote model was difficult enough during 2020, and further adjusting to the hybrid teaching model will be just as challenging for some. By patiently facing these struggles and probably accepting some constructive criticisms, we would be able to excel in (if not perfect) this new teaching model. As some teachers have suggested, it is alright to slow down, talk with your students about the challenges of this new setup, and even laugh about the shortcomings. If your current technology cannot accommodate your needs, for now, regroup in the meantime and prepare some asynchronous activities or record lecture videos with embedded questions to maintain your students' interest in the topics. We should not berate ourselves if we cannot keep up with the technological capabilities required, maybe the perfect equipment is still out there, waiting to be utilized…
4. Use versatile and user-friendly equipment
To lessen the stress of having to deal with preparing lessons, managing the students, grading papers, and all other tasks associated with being an educator, it can be very beneficial to utilize an all-in-one video conferencing solution in hybrid classrooms. The Coolpo AI Huddle Pana (Pana) is the perfect solution and offers the following features:
Plug and play – no need to install separate drivers to start using.
All-in-one – the 360-degree HD camera also comes with a surround-sound speaker and four microphones
Portable – the small-sized and stress-free installation device can easily be brought to different locations
Easy to operate – the user-friendly interface of its complementary Coolpo Tools will allow for smooth video configuration. Using this, you will be able to customize where the camera points, choose whether to close the panoramic view or keep it, block certain parts of the camera’s captured space, and more. Moreover, the simple design of the hardware can effortlessly be operated by anyone.
AI-enabled, self-adaptive HD Camera – there’s no need for a camera operator to follow you around the room. The camera does that (and more) for you!
Compatible with any video conferencing software – whether you are using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex, etc., the Pana will be able to collaborate with you.
5. Do not leave any of your student groups unsupervised for a long time
Managing a hybrid setup requires educators the sight a chameleon that has a 360-degree field of view. It eases the burden to have an AI panoramic camera so that remote students can be as engaged as the in-room participants because keeping all their attention at once could be a challenge in itself already. Just like in the traditional classroom setup, teachers must supervise their students at all times during the class. For that reason, hybrid collaborations, open-class discussions, and dynamic synchronous activities could be key to keep all your student groups supervised and interested during class. Moreover, it also helps maintain their attention to enunciate, use online whiteboard tools, and sharing the e-book version of your resources using share screen, for the benefit of both in-room and remote students.
Working hard and working smart does not have to be two different things. You can work hard by working smart, and allow yourself some R&R for the remaining (saved) time. Adapting to the hybrid learning model does not have to be a stressful ordeal. Preparing for it can be as fun and enlightening as the activities you are concocting for your students. Moreover, technology does not have to be daunting. There is versatile equipment out there that is both easy to use and contains the full capabilities required to master the hybrid learning model.