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University of Basel

Hybrid teaching (and its alternatives)

On-campus teaching scenarios with online participants

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AV-Medien-Set in den Lehrräumen der Universität Basel

Hybrid teaching and the models proposed here aim to offer students, who have hardly been on campus for three semesters, at least some teaching on campus. The university’s goal for the fall semester 2021 is to let students experience “real” interaction with their instructors and peers. At the same time, depending on the current pandemic situation and what is possible in specific situations, the concept that “presence can also be virtual” will still be relevant. The purpose of hybrid and other similar scenarios is to design the interactive portions of courses in such a way that students who participate online are included: they should be able to ask questions, work in small groups and take part in discussions.

Hybrid teaching and the models proposed here will ensure that everyone is able to pursue their studies during a pandemic. The essential feature here is the division between in-person and “remote” participants who either follow the course digitally or are provided with a recording. In the latter case, there are various ways to compensate for the lack of opportunities to ask questions and actively participate in discussions.

During the pandemic, there have been various reasons for splitting students into these groups (on campus vs. remote):

  • Alternating instruction: certain students participate remotely because filling classrooms to capacity is not allowed (pandemic distancing rules).
  • Sporadic absences of individuals or small groups: students currently in quarantine/isolation or showing symptoms must be able to stay at home (this should be kept easy and have minimal consequences).
  • Extended absence of individuals: students who are at an increased risk or might pose a risk to others, for instance to vulnerable individuals around them, can study remotely for safety reasons.

When designing courses, the potential size of the respective groups throughout the semester should be taken into consideration.

Principles

  • First, course contents should be taught using an appropriate format.
  • Second, interaction should be made possible wherever this is desired.

Recommendation for choosing the scenario

  • When selecting one of the four scenarios (see below), there are two key factors to consider: group size and the planned level of interaction.
  • These scenarios (1–4) are explained in the following table.
  • We define “hybrid teaching” here as simultaneous, synchronous and highly interactive instruction for two parallel groups: one on campus and one online. Generally speaking, hybrid teaching is a very demanding format for instructors if their goal is to allow for the same level of interaction with both groups. The format entails organizing both groups, facilitating the course (in this case, mainly planning the interaction) and didactic aspects. Below we have put together several recommendations on how to design hybrid instruction.
  • For larger groups requiring a high degree of interaction, we recommend an alternative to hybrid teaching, i.e. a “flipped classroom” format (see scenario 3). This “pandemic model” of a flipped classroom consists of course content and instructional material prepared in advance (including videos, for example), which students work through independently, and (shorter) interactions with two groups, one after the other.
  • As a rule, truly interactive hybrid teaching is difficult with larger groups – alternative formats (online discussions, e.g. ADAM forums, office hours, etc.) to complement the non-interactive coursework are often more productive than complex hybrid settings.

Below are some possible solutions according to group size and degree of interaction.

Scenario
Group size
Degree of interaction
Description and technology
Implementation
Scenario

On-campus lecture with recording

Group size

large group

Degree of interaction

low

Description and technology

The in-person course in the physical classroom is recorded and promptly put on ADAM for students who cannot participate.

Implementation
Scenario

On-campus lecture with live streaming

Group size

large group

Degree of interaction

low

Description and technology

The course takes place in the physical classroom for students on campus but is transmitted live for remote participants via video conferencing (Zoom) or webcasting (Panopto) software.

Implementation
Scenario

Interactive hybrid course

Group size

small group

Degree of interaction

high

Description and technology

The course takes place on campus while fully involving remote participants via video conference (Zoom). They join the event live via Zoom (audio and video) and participate directly in discussions and any group activities.

Implementation
Scenario

Flipped classroom with two groups

Group size

medium to large group

Degree of interaction

high

Description and technology

The class consists of several specific sequences:

  1. Course contents are made available in advance for students to work through on their own (video, audio, images, text, learning module, etc.)
  2. Interactive meeting with the in-person group in the physical classroom
  3. Interactive meeting with the remote group via videoconference
Implementation

Lecture series

Especially for hybrid lecture series (on-campus course with live streaming), it is important to observe additional safety precautions in Zoom due to the public nature of the events. A leaflet on this can be found here (in German).

Accessible version of the table

The implementation recommendations for the individual scenarios (see table) can be found in the linked PDFs. To ensure accessibility, which is not guaranteed in some cases for PDFs, the contents of the PDFs are also listed below:

 

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