Hybrid Classroom: Teach Online And In Person Simultaneously
March 22, 2022
Hybrid learning is an educational approach where some of the students join the lesson in person, and some join virtually via an online classroom. It allows the teacher to give a lesson to students in person, while at the same time it opens the class up to a much broader audience. Teaching in a hybrid model lets students in remote locations join the lesson and learn alongside their classmates.
An advantage of hybrid learning is that it offers the choice of learning in person or online and each student can select the model that best suits their needs. As a teacher in a hybrid classroom it is important to combine in person teaching techniques with remote learning practices in order to cater for both sets of students simultaneously.
There are various ways to set up a hybrid classroom. We will take a deeper look into two methods that allow you to make the most of the virtual classroom while teaching in a hybrid model.
Incorporating the virtual classroom
One approach to teaching in a hybrid model involves integrating the virtual classroom into the physical one by projecting the virtual classroom onto a screen. This allows the students in the physical classroom to learn as they usually would, while at the same time the online students can actively participate in the lesson by using features such as the chat, polls and raise hand. The Unicko classroom enables the teacher to use the virtual whiteboard with a graphic tablet and easily share presentations, documents and media files with all the students without having to rely on external tools.
Using Unicko you can upload all of your educational materials to the classroom in advance, according to your lesson plan. This means that you will have all the content in one place, visible to you and both sets of students at any time. Since the online students are able to view everything directly in the classroom, they experience the lesson in the same way as those who are attending in person. Throughout the lesson you can select whether to focus on the presentations or switch to other features such as the whiteboard and students’ videos with just the click of a button. You can also use a remote to navigate the presentations and move between slides.
Utilise the Whiteboard
In order to use the virtual whiteboard in the physical classroom, you can set up a lecture stand and graphic tablet in front of the class. This allows you to use the whiteboard without turning your back on the audience. The students in the physical classroom will see the whiteboard projected on a screen behind you and the online students will view it in the virtual classroom. The Unicko whiteboard was purpose built for online teaching and it offers all the functionality of a physical whiteboard with additional benefits, such as being able to copy and paste from the clipboard or from uploaded documents. The whiteboard is optimised for use with graphic tablets which enables teachers to easily write equations and draw freehand when teaching subjects such as maths and science. Another advantage of the virtual whiteboard is that it offers multiple pages so that the teacher is not limited by physical space constraints. Throughout the lesson students can download the whiteboard as a PDF document and use it as a revision aid.
Broadcasting the physical classroom
A second approach to hybrid learning involves filming the physical whiteboard and broadcasting it live to the virtual classroom. This gives you the freedom to teach in your regular style while allowing the online students to interact with you using their microphones and the chat. Filming the physical classroom enables you to teach subjects such as maths and science without the need for additional tools, since you can use the physical whiteboard to write equations and draw diagrams.
Keep the Online Students Engaged
It is important to keep the online students engaged while teaching, and one way to do this is to use the interactive tools offered by the virtual classroom. The Unicko chat and Q&A allow the students to ask questions that the teacher can answer throughout the lesson. They can also use the raise hand button to attract the teacher’s attention without disrupting the class. As the teacher, you can interact with the students using the Unicko polls feature which allows you to ask multiple choice questions, that the online students can then vote on in the virtual classroom.
Create Study Groups
Study groups can be used to change the flow of the lesson and keep the students engaged. When teaching in a hybrid model you can use study groups by dividing the in-person students into groups as you usually would and then using the breakout rooms feature to split the online students into separate rooms. The students in each room will have microphone and camera permissions as well as the ability to share documents and use the virtual whiteboard, allowing them to effectively work together. As the teacher you can move from room to room allowing you to check in on both the online and in person students. Using the breakout rooms allows the online students to collaborate in the same way as their classmates who are in the physical classroom.
An additional advantage of hybrid learning is that the teacher can easily record the session since the entire lesson is already being filmed. When a session is recorded, the audio and video conference, presentations, chat messages and any content that was added to the whiteboard are included. At the end of the lesson you can share the recording with the students to allow them to review it at a later time.
A Complete Solution with Unicko
As the teacher you can choose whether you prefer to project the virtual classroom onto a screen in the physical one or film the physical classroom and broadcast it to the virtual one. Both methods of hybrid teaching cater for all the students at the same time and offer more choice and flexibility than traditional in-person learning. The Unicko virtual classroom provides the tools needed for effective learning and by utilising these tools you can create an engaging and interactive learning environment for both the online and in person students.