8 ways to make your hybrid classroom really work!
We take a look at some of the ways to provide a consistent learning experience for both in-classroom & remote students.
Ask a student, and they’ll probably tell you they love the convenience and flexibility of online learning, but it‘s pretty difficult to find any hard evidence that online teaching actually improves student learning! This makes it all the more important that you build your infrastructure with care.
Facing the challenges of Covid-19 has forced almost every educational institution to act quickly, introducing technology to move learning online, or adopting hybrid teaching modality with some students present in the classroom, and others simultaneously attending remotely.
Aside from Covid-19, students are also often absent from classes for other reasons - seminars, field research, sporting tours etc., and there is tremendous value in putting effective systems in place that increase the effectiveness of online learning, that will work well for the future, not only during the pandemic. Let’s look at some key questions to ask about hybrid classroom environments.
1. Is it easy to use?
Stating the obvious maybe, but not all solutions are able to deliver this. The best systems like WolfVision Cynap incorporate a simple workflow only requiring the operation of a single device, ensuring that everybody can use it easily. Forget about juggling apps, misplacing dongles, installing and constantly updating additional software, and beware of potential device compatibility issues - you need to find a hassle-free solution that works the way you want it to.
2. Can you show live materials?
One of the great benefits of in-classroom teaching is the ability to display ‘live‘ content materials on-screen using a Visualizer. It helps to breaks up the monotony of a PowerPoint presentation and introduces interactive elements into teaching materials. Many universities worldwide are already using WolfVision Visualizers for both in-classroom and online presentation of physical materials.
The option to incorporate live materials on-screen during Zoom or Teams classes really transforms lessons and brings them to life!
3. Can you talk while writing?
Many teachers in the physical classroom like to talk while writing - the good news is that when you use a WolfVision Visualizer, in-person teaching in this way works equally well for an online audience - simply sharing Visualizer content during a Zoom or Teams lesson gives you the exact same ability to talk and write at the same time, either on a piece of paper or dry-erase working surface letting you interact with your students – wherever they are!
4. Can you make flexible multi-source presentations?
There are many options, but for most people, they do not want to introduce additional technical challenges during online teaching. Many solutions we’ve seen are simply too complicated to use. It’s really worth taking a look at a collaboration appliance like Cynap that takes care of all your multi-source needs (web conferencing, document and media player, web browser, annotation, display of digital materials, videos and more) using a simple workflow with user frindly UI that absolutely everybody can use.
5. Are you recording?
Recording lessons for on-demand online viewing is a great resource and there are loads of ways to do this. If you’re already using an established system like Panopto, Kaltura etc. it’s worth ensuring that your chosen system is compatible and allows for high volume automated scheduling of recordings.
WolfVision Cynap does this, and if you’re also ramping up to use smaller classrooms as standalone recording studios for faculty, standardising on a flexible system like Cynap that can either act as a capture agent or record locally is a tremendous advantage.
I chose Cynap because it allowed us to meet all the requirements while reducing complexity and is easy to use. It enables streaming of high quality, low latency audio and video between the labs, allowed offsite students to join in via video conferencing and recording, and direct upload to our video platform for on-demand viewing.Vissen Limbeea Classroom Teaching Development Manager - University of Westminster
6. Is your web conferencing platform effective?
The massive increase in use of platforms like Teams and Zoom has brought huge benefits during the times where hybrid learning has become essential. However there are challenges when teaching to a hybrid class – where half are in-person and half are online.
Presentation of content is a key consideration, and we‘ve found that simply using PowerPoint makes it really difficult to hold the attention of students. When you’re using Zoom or Teams, if you pair it with a Cynap system you can deliver the multi-source lesson content you‘re used to using in the classroom, also to your online audience.
7. Can you stream to multiple classrooms?
We’ve seen many examples of classroom setups using our Cynap systems where originally streaming wasn’t really a key requirement. During the Covid-19 pandemic the ability to live stream to multiple classrooms to enable proper in-classroom social distancing has been a huge benefit. Maximum flexibility comes with our Cynap solutions where you can simultaneously teach in-person, stream to remote classrooms and students at home, plus record the lesson for on-demand viewing.
8. Have you minimised high-touch surfaces?
Since Covid-19 nobody wants to touch anything in the room anymore! If you want to use a touchscreen, in-room PC, room controller etc. at the moment somebody is going to have to continually clean them.
With the increased popularity of BYOD and the versatility of today‘s smartphones laptops and tablets, many universities are now using WolfVision Cynap as a ‘one-box‘ solution that acts as a content switcher and can be easily controlled wirelessly via a professor’s own mobile device. No need whatsoever to touch any in-room equipment at all!
You can even store your Zoom or Teams credentials on your mobile device, and launch your hybrid lesson directly from your own device.
WolfVision can provide a flexible high performance synchronous online and in-classroom learning experience using our award-winning Cynap and Visualizer system.
Use the form below to get in touch and let’s explore how we can help with your hybrid learning requirements.