hybrid teaching toolkit

Building a blended & hybrid teaching toolkit

Hybrid and remote teaching environments require us to tap into everything we know about designing engaging and targeted learning opportunities. At the same time, the contexts are often unfamiliar. So what we need is a blended and hybrid teaching toolkit.

When looking to design a successful remote or hybrid learning experience, consider thinking about what shifts you’re going to make by starting with educator proficiencies. Proficiencies help you build your own skillsets.

Educator proficiencies for remote & hybrid teaching practices

Here’s what they all look like as a rubric:

Proficiency

Method

Resources

I invest time to build and maintain relationships with my students.
  • co-constructing norms and agreements with them and consistently revisit and readjust.
  • learning about their interests and connecting them to my curriculum.
  • Establishing credibility and building trust
I establish clear learning expectations and ensure my students and caregivers know what success looks like. 
  • Sharing via pre-recorded lessons & directions
  • Distance learning weekly planner/calendar access.
  • Providing annotated exemplars
I design instruction that includes demonstrating examples of what students will learn.
  • Screencasts
  • Peer-to-peer collaboration via jigsaws & reciprocal teaching
  • Coaching/facilitating
  • Plenty of opportunities to practice
I select digital tools and resources that are developmentally appropriate with minimal adult assistance and have accessibility features.
  • Closed captions
  • Text designed for screen reader software
  • Faces on video enlarged for readability
  • Not using color change to indicate semantic meaning, etc.
I use methods of measuring the impact of my teaching to  understand each students’ progress and achievement and adjust my teaching accordingly.
 

I provide feedback students use to become their own teachers so they are assessment capable learners. I include success criteria, feedback about process, and self-regulatory feedback.
  • self-grading quizzes with feedback
  • audio & text comments
  • workshop conferencing
I intentionally amplify student agency by building in choice of subject, path, and pace.
I design opportunities for students to learn from and with community.

This set of proficiencies was drawn from resources in The Distance Learning Playbook: K-12 and Aurora Institute’s National Standards for Quality Online Courses.

Now, let’s unpack these ideas a little further.

I invest time to build and maintain relationships with my students.

One way is to invite students to collaborate in building norms and agreements. And just as importantly, revisiting and readjusting these based on lived experiences.

When we take time to learn about students’ interests and connect these to our curricular design, we build trust in our learning community. Take a look at Bill Ferriter’s Differentiation Learning Profile as a way to gather information from your students. Next, pull from this Imagining School Survey to develop your own questions. And finally, be sure to share the results you’ve culled and the steps you’ve taken with your students. That closes the loop. Students need to know their feedback impacts your practice. They need to see it in action.

Best Practices for Videoconferencing with Students and 14 Socially Distanced Advisory Activities provide you with a ton of ways to create trust in your hybrid community of learners.

I establish clear learning expectations and ensure my students and their families know what success looks like.

One way to provide clarity is to record video lessons for learners to view and revisit. Craft them to provide clear directions, suggested paths, and pacing guides. Consider Using Learning Targets with Students to with goal-setting. Then check out Strategies for Fostering a Productive Distance Learning Experience from the folks at Getting Smart. They advocate:

“Ways to create comprehensive schedules for students; do not rely on families to piece together emails and calendars from multiple sources. And if something changes, make sure that families can easily identify the most up-to-date information.”

How to do this? One middle-level team at Randolph Union Middle School used integrated curriculum to clarify learning expectations. The whole team leaned in on designing a unit that tied curriculum to one compelling theme: clean drinking water.

I design instruction that includes demonstrating examples of what students will learn. 

Learners need to know exactly what success looks like. Using screencasting tools to walk through what makes good artifacts is critical. Design for peer-to-peer collaboration and reciprocal teaching by Improving Student Collaboration in Remote and Hybrid Learning. Use Collaborative Tools like Google Docs & Slides, Jamboard, and Padlet.

Wear both your coach and facilitator hats and give students feedback that includes concrete ways to improve. Also, students need plenty of time for practice and retakes. At Edmunds Middle School, in Burlington Vermont, Sarah Wright rethought assessment and created a self-paced Spanish class. Her students could re-take exams as many times as possible. They worked towards proficiency as it’s defined in the real world: the ability to communicate.

And finally, consider ways for Designing Breakout Rooms for Maximum Engagement using protocols as well as these 6 Ways to Help Students Create the Best Breakout Rooms.

I select digital tools and resources that are developmentally appropriate with minimal adult assistance and have accessibility features.

A plethora of educational technology tools exist. And many actually facilitate teaching and learning. Why not stash Technology Tools Recommendations for Remote environments  in your hybrid teaching toolkit? Additionally, rich content resources are available through these Open Educational Resources:

I use methods of measuring the impact of my teaching to understand each students’ progress and achievement 

Technology tools like Peardeck, Nearpod, Edpuzzle, self-graded quizzes in Google Forms, and Mentimeter engage learners in providing feedback loops to inform next steps. Formative assessment is key to this feedback cycle. Check out this post to guide you in Where are we with formative assessment  for remote learning? Then consider visiting 75 Digital Tools for Formative Assessment from the NWEA to explore ways to invite your learners to provide valuable information. Extend your feedback loop into video watching by looking at How to Use Edpuzzle for Remote Learning and then go deeper into exploring with this Choiceboard for Digital Tools for Active Learning and Formative Assessment in Remote Environments

I provide feedback students use to become their own teachers so they are assessment capable learners

Teachers provide feedback about process, self-regulatory feedback and includes success criteria. Start by reviewing this Create a Feedback Rich Environment hyperdoc.

I intentionally amplify student agency by building in choice of subject, path, and pace 

How might you design and plan for engaging and relevant learning opportunities for your students in these trying times? Consider 6 Student-Centered Projects for the First Week of School. These two hyperdocs  Coherent Unit Design &Meaningful, Relevant, & Significant Learning  can lead you through ways to plan. Or you might want ot increase your capacity to offer choice by reviewing this hyperdoc on Pace & Path Choice with Playlists. Want to know more about student interest projects to increase student ownership and agency? Check out The Power of PIPs in a Pandemic.

I design opportunities for students to learn from and with community.

Remote and hybrid learning can leave us feeling isolated from our local communities. Yet, the constraints of virtual engagement also provide opportunities to connect virtually in new ways. Consider the following resources to help you connect your learners with a wider audience of caring and eager adults:

Want to dive deeper?

 

What do you think?