Hybrid teaching

In a hybrid class, there are two audiences – in-person and online. It goes beyond just streaming your in-person lectures for your online audience. The challenge is to provide, as far as possible, an equitable learning experience for both the audiences.

In surveys done with instructors and students during the pandemic at EPFL, it appears that Hybrid teaching is the most difficult modality to set up for teachers, mainly because it requires managing two audiences in parallel, and providing them with an equitable experience. For example, how can instructors keep track of questions from the online audience? How can they make sure online students see the same resources as the audience in the lecture hall?

First of all, assign one or more TAs to manage:

  • the technical issues during the lecture (video, audio, screen sharing)
  • the interactions with the remote students in real time. 

Second, it is paramount to prepare the technical set up of the sessions. Technical and practical difficulties can impair spontaneous interactions for remote students, and should therefore be planned. Plan for interactions between you and the students, between the students and the TAs and between the students themselves. For example, you could consider creating stable buddy-teams for the semester, such that one student of the group is on campus each lecture. Discussions or other forms of active participation during the lecture can be facilitated by Speak Up and Clickers. You can create either all remote or mixed Zoom breakout rooms, in the latter case the on campus students need to be online as well.

A third strategy that facilitates the management of a hybrid class consists of pre-recording the lectures and focusing the live session on discussion, interaction and problem-solving only. This is the model of a flipped classroom, but again with two audiences: at a distance and on campus. The recordings that were done during the pandemic can serve as a starting point. Similar to hybrid lecturing, the preparation of hybrid flipped classroom also requires a sound technical set-up and a plan for interacting with and between both audiences.

For more information about rooms and equipment please contact the  EPFL Audiovisual Service (SAVE).