Hybrid teaching is an increasingly relevant topic at Aalto University, but sometimes it is unclear what is meant by hybrid teaching, and how it should be implemented. This quick guide gives an overview of hybrid teaching, as well as tips for equipment and spaces available at Aalto. The fastest way to get started is by checking through the checklist below.

Checklist for hybrid teaching

Before the hybrid session 

  1. Reflect, whether hybrid model is certainly the best alternative available to support students learning. Support for decision making can be asked from digital pedagogy specialists.   
  2. Check, that the room booked for your teaching is labelled ‘lecture capture ready’ or ‘Panopto ready’ from ITS Wiki page. Check the room equipment on Aalto Booking service.  
  3. Reserve enough time for planning the structure and schedule carefully.  
  4. If needed, ask your school for audio visual equipment to borrow, or make use of Aalto Takeout’s equipment.  
  5. Test the implementation of your session before, if possible.  
  6. Ask students to register or otherwise inform you whether they will be present on-campus or online. For this, you can use for example the Choice activity found in MyCourses. During eg. Covid restrictions, make sure you know how many people are allowed in the space.
  7. Inform the students about room details and online participation links as early as possible.  

During the hybrid session 

  1. At the beginning of the session, check that all the participants (on-campus and online) are able to see and hear each other, and that your screen sharing is functioning.  
  2. Describe the structure and practicalities of the hybrid session, and instruct how to ask for speaking turn, comment or question both online and on-campus.  
  3. In case problems arise during the session, be in contact with the Lobby Services (https://www.aalto.fi/en/service-entities/lobby-services) or IT Support (https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/it-end-user-support).

 

Hybrid teaching is a third option between traditional on-campus and online teaching. In this context, by  hybrid teaching  we mean teaching situations or sessions, where simultaneously some students or teachers are present online while some are present physically. A course that involves hybrid teaching, can naturally also contain fully online or fully on-campus teaching based sections.  

A related to concept to hybrid teaching is  blended learning  or  blended teaching , that means a course that contains both face-to-face and online mediated learning and interaction. Blended learning can also refer to a learning session where digital tools are made use of with students who are physically present. Thus, blended learning is not the same thing as hybrid teaching, but they are closely related.  

Teaching in hybrid manner is not going to replace fully online or on-campus teaching, or blended learning that combines these two. Hybrid teaching is one more option to use to have more flexibility in teaching and studying.  

Hybrid teaching usually demands more effort from the teacher than purely online or on-campus teaching.  Because of this, it is wise to use hybrid teaching only when it really adds value to learning. With good equipment and basic skills mastered, hybrid teaching enriches teaching and helps utilizing different possibilities of interaction present and online.  

One key value of hybrid teaching is the  flexibility  it gives for the student. The student can based on their preferences and situation choose whether to participate physically on-site or online. This way, students who for example live further away, work full time or suffer from illness are given the possibility to participate fully online while those who prefer on-campus learning are given the option to do so.  

Hybrid teaching is a good format when a course has multiple teachers or teaching assistants. Together, managing multiple channels and tools is considerably easier. It is also possible to give hybrid teaching on one’s own. In that case, the preparations need to be done extra carefully, so that everything will function as expected during the session.  

Hybrid teaching means all kinds of teaching, where participation is simultaneously made possible both physically present on-campus and digitally online.  

One typical example is a lecture given in a lecture hall, streamed live online using for example a built-in lecture capture camera.  


Example structure of a hybrid session :  

 

Teacher does

On-campus participants do

Online participants do

Equipment

Opening

Opening the session: Teacher describes the goals and  practicalities for the session.

Listen and see the presentation on lecture space screen  

Listen via Teams and see  the presentation on Teams  

Teams, Powerpoint

Sparking up interest

Gives an interest-sparking questionnaire on  Presemo , shares the link via Teams

Open up Presemo on mobile  device  

Open up  Presemo  on mobile  / desktop device  

Presemo, Teams

Discussing spark-up exercise

Asks for comments and chairs  the discussion in the room and via Teams

Comments on the exercise, and listen  to others’ comments in the room and via speakers

Comments on the exercise, and listen to others’ comments via  Teams

Room microphone (Jabra, Catchbox  etc), Teams

Presenting the key topic

Gives presentation on the topic using Powerpoint

Listen and see the presentation on lecture space screen

Listen via Teams and see  the presentation on Teams

Teams, powerpoint

Group activity

Groups students in the room and  starts breakout rooms on Teams

Discusses with their group in the room

Discusses with their group in  Teams breakout room

Teams

Summing up group work

Asks for comments  from the groups  and chairs  the discussion in  the room  and via TeamsTakes notes on a digital whiteboard.  

Comments on the  group discussion , and listen  to others’ comments in the room and via speakers

Comments on the  group discussion , and listen  to others’ comments  via Teams  

Room microphone (Jabra, Catchbox  etc), Teams, digital whiteboard (Flinga, Teams whiteboard, Jamboard etc)

Closure and feedback 

Session closureTeacher sums up the session take-home message and describes what follows. Collects instant feedback via eg. Presemo: What worked, what didn't work, what remained unclear?

Listens to and asks if something is unclear, gives instant feedback on mobile device

Listens to and asks if something is unclear via Teams, gives instant feedback

Teams, Presemo

Give  clear and consistent instructions  for both online and in-class participants, so that everyone knows what to expect. You can for example tell how questions can be asked (via chat or virtual ‘raised hand’ etc.) or how possible group work will be carried out.  

Allow students to choose  how they participate to teaching. If the classroom capacity is limited due to eg. Corona virus restrictions, you can collect registrations for in-class participation. For example, MyCourses activity Choice can be utilized in this.  

Consider options to  promote fellowship and teaming up  between the in-class and online students. You can for example ask for students wishes via polls, and every now and then confirm that everyone can hear you and are participating. You can also try brief group exercises, that foster social connection. If the groups contain both online and on-campus students, make sure the on-campus members have at least one device that allows joining the online group.

Integrated set-ups in classrooms / studios 

At the Aalto University campus, you can find over 70 lecture capture spaces. Lecture capture space means that space is equipped with one or multiple video screens, video camera(s), wireless microphone(s), speakers, and AV-computer with applications like Panopto video recording, Zoom, and Teams installed. In many cases, this equipment is applicable to be used also for hybrid classroom teaching. Check and test the space beforehand, though.

  • You can also search for lecture capture spaces via space booking system booking.aalto.fi by selecting  Filter by accessories – Lecture Capture.


Bring your own device

Aalto Takeout lends different equipment for free for all Aalto staff (ARTS operated service, ARTS needs are prioritized). For a hybrid session, consider for example the following equipment:


Bringing your own devices with you to a hybrid classroom is also possible. Read the case of how to set up a hybrid session with Zoom by following these steps:  https://wiki.aalto.fi/display/OPIT/Zoom#expand-Case1Onlineandinpersonlecturesimultaneously  

In case your institution or school has funding reserved for this, you can also buy equipment through Aalto IT Orders.

Consult a digital learning specialist

Aalto Digital Learning Environments team supports planning and implementing hybrid teaching, especially before and in the beginning of a session. Contact your school’s digital pedagogy specialist, whose contact information you can find on Aalto.fi. Or book a meeting with a specialist from Book a session with a specialist service.  

Specialists serve you with planning hybrid sessions and finding the best suitable practices, tools and spaces for these sessions. If you want, you can also ask a specialist to join you in the first 15 minutes of the first hybrid session to support and observe.  


Technical support in teaching spaces  

Aalto IT End User Support (EUS) and Aalto Lobby Services support with technical problems and questions related to the equipment of classrooms. Find Aalto IT and Aalto Lobby Services’ contact information from a classroom, usually on the front desk.


Coming soon - New Hybrid Teaching Studio! 

Among other spaces that support hybrid and online teaching, new Hybrid Teaching Studio is being built and ready to be launched soon. You will be informed about the launch date and future demo days when you can test equipment in the studio.