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What’s Trending? Hybrid Classes

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Have you started down the path toward teaching a hybrid class? Which hybrid modality is your reality? Leeward CC recognizes two categories for hybrid design, pure Hybrid and Split Hybrid. Details on each modality can be found on the Leeward Course Modalities page. When planning for hybrid synchronous or asynchronous you can leverage best practices for online teaching and best practices for in person facilitation. This post focuses on the challenges related to Split Hybrid Synchronous situations that involve live classroom instruction with simultaneous online instruction. The following articles from Beth McMurtrie of The Chronicle of Higher Education “Your Questions around Hybrid Teaching Answered”, Part 1 and Part 2 serve as a starting place for a few common questions and answers that arise. The reality of a Split Hybrid Synchronous course is that a portion of your class arrives in person to your classroom (socially distanced) and ready to learn, while the rest of your class simultaneously logs into your virtual classroom to join in the learning experience remotely. 

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Perhaps a good analogy is with someone spinning two basketballs, one on their left hand and one on their right. Keeping both balls spinning is vital, if one ball slows it will wobble and eventually fall. But how do you keep both balls spinning when both hands are busy and you don’t have assistance from the Harlem Globetrotters? Facilitating a great learning experience in class while simultaneously maintaining an equally engaging online experience takes practice, practice, practice (and planning).

Here are some things to consider for our Leeward CC classrooms:
Laulima: Invest time into building your Laulima site to support your teaching. In fact experts in this type of teaching (HyFlex design) go so far as to recommend having a comprehensive online course site as the spine of your course. This investment benefits both in class and online learners. Both groups benefit from having copies of resources available online, a single location for turning in assignments and grading etc.
Device: Strongly consider asking students that if they have a laptop it would be helpful to bring it to all in person meetings. If they don’t have a laptop chances are they have a smartphone or tablet (According to Educause data, the vast majority of students own mobile phones.) If they don’t have either inform them to plan ahead in order to borrow one from the Leeward CC Library (open Monday to Friday 8:00AM – 4:00PM during Fall semester) .
Wireless: Inform students that our campus has wireless coverage in most classrooms and many outdoor seating areas. The campus wireless network is identified as LEE and student may sign into it with their UH Username and Password. Students are highly encouraged to register their devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets) in order to access the LEE wireless network. Registered student devices will not be repeated asked to sign in to the LEE network each time. This will ensure internet connectivity while they are in your classroom. This is also something they can do from home prior to coming to campus. Support is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week through UH ITS Help Desk.
Zoom: Consider using Zoom as your a communication tool to bridge your in-person and online learners. Take some time to familiarize yourself with what works and what doesn’t. In the Split Hybrid Synchronous format you may lean heavily on this tool, practice with it so that it doesn’t become a distraction or stall your teaching rhythm.
Participation and Engagement: Consider how tools like Google Docs can promote collaboration, and participation. Also tools for live polling like Poll Everywhere can give you a feel for where you learners are at in the learning process and be great discussion starters.

With a little planning, preparation and practice you will be well on your way to engage both in person and online learners.

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