How to switch to hybrid education? 8 tips for teachers, by teachers

The new academic year will start with a mix of online and on-campus education, or so called: hybrid education. For you as an EUR lecturer, this means that more requirements will be imposed on the quality of online education and online assessment. Large-scale lectures should be changed to an online format, types of assessment will need to be reconsidered, and so on.  

You probably have already adapted your courses to this hybrid approach, but should you need a bit of inspiration for the final touch?  

These are a few useful tips your peers would like to share with you. Good luck with your final preparations!

Make it interactive! - Erasmus MC, Dr. Gijs Elshout (Adjunct-coördinator Bachelor Geneeskunde)

For online education, both ‘live’ and ‘pre-recorded,’ there are useful tools to make sure students are stimulated to activate the new-learned knowledge (i.e. Mentimeter, Feedbackfruits, chat- and raising hands-functions). In my opinion, it makes the online education more interesting for the students and the teachers!

In the design of online education: think less in lectures and more in terms of cycles - ISS, Dr. Roy Huijsman (Associate Professor)

In classroom-based education we often design our education around lectures, in online education a lecture is just one of various possible components in the educational design of a module. Breaking up a module into cycles comprising of a combination of components that students work through (and lectures comment on) within a set timeframe, gives the module a recognisable rhythm within the flexibility of online education.

Take advantage of what the online environment has to offer - RSM, Dr. Greetje Schouten & Dr. Marijn Faling  

Successful online education requires more than replicating traditional classroom lectures in a digital environment. For instance, alternate short (recorded) lectures with different types of assignments to ensure active engagement and assess student progress; create a very clear and straightforward course structure; and design education in such a way that students can follow the course in their own pace (asynchronous learning). However, although asynchronous learning was highly appreciated by students, we experienced that this should be combined with regular direct interactions with students to facilitate discussion and learning, and to create a sense of inclusion and support with students.

The use of online tools - EUC, Marisela Martinez Claros (Senior Lecturer in Life Sciences)

Use the online tools, strategies, Apps and assignments, that complement your creativity without massively increasing your workload. Your students will appreciate a committed, motivated and enthusiastic teacher, rather than a complicated quiz that took you lots of time to prepare and that might fail “due to technical issues”. Be present, even if it is not face-to-face, the students appreciate having a 5 minutes chat on Zoom once in a while.

Students appreciate a clear, consistent, and engaging structure - ESHCC, Dr. Delia Dumitrica (Associate Professor, Media & Communication)

Break-down your online lecture into several 5-20 min activities for students to do. Announce this structure before the course starts and stick to it throughout the entire term. This helps your students know what to expect and plan accordingly. Including small yet precise opportunities for input - e.g. poll, open-ended question, etc. - will engage your students. However, for engagement to be meaningful, you need to consistently and explicitly use of their input during the online lectures.

Make sure during the whole session that the online students feel as engaged as the students in the classroom - Erasmus MC, Dr. Floor van Rosse (Assistant Professor)

For online students, it is easier to be distracted, especially when they cannot participate in little in-classroom interactions like jokes or non-verbal communication. So make sure the in-classroom students are aware of these things and keep on involving the online group all the time.

Combine recordings with live sessions - RSM, Dr. Pieter van den Berg (Assistant Professor)

Recorded lectures have the potential of having a positive impact on the quality of your course. Especially if lectures are divided in short knowledge clips, this is a great way to discuss the main materials. Nevertheless, there are good reasons to combine this with some sort of live sessions during which students can directly interact with the teaching staff. Besides the possibility to ask questions, this also provides a good stimulant for students to not postpone the workload for the course.

Get inspired, stay aligned, and just try! - ESHPM, Dr. Richard van Kleef (Assistant professor)

Get inspired: when it comes to tools for online teaching most people probably ‘only’ see the tip of the iceberg. I believe it is really helpful to invest some time in learning about available tools, e.g. by searching the internet, hearing from colleagues and consulting our experts from CLI. Stay aligned: a tool should serve its goal. When thinking about (online) course design it is crucial to start from the learning goals. Just try: for each learning goal, plenty of tools might be available. There is only one way to find out what works best for you and your students: just try!  

In need of extra support?

Please contact the Learning Innovation team of your School, or check the CLI page advice for hybrid education. 

Several additional training possibilities: