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Blend Your Classroom: Hybrid Learning Best Practices

  • 3 Min Read

Cisco Education guest posts for our October Partnership Spotlight!

What does hybridization mean to you?

Does it mean flexibility? Is it simply more hours spent in front of a computer? Is it a step closer from the way things were to the way they will be?

The lines between the digital and physical world are increasingly blurred. And, from where we stand today, the world is hurtling toward a more hybrid future. The way we work, learn, and interact now occurs across multiple platforms. Education is one of the areas most impacted by this transformation. Hybrid, or blended, learning has surged to the forefront—a transformation long in the making, now accelerated by a global pandemic. Now, more than ever, we need education systems and solutions that are continuous, enabling collaboration and communication before, during, and after class.

At Cisco, we recently surveyed a group of educators in our Webex for Education Community to learn their best practices for hybrid learning.

How are the educators building the hybrid classroom?

Tips by educators, for educators

  1. Set the tone: level-set clear expectations for engagement, participation, assessment, and roles.
  2. What does it mean to be the teacher? What does it mean to be the student? And what does success look like in a hybrid classroom? Clarifying the role of each facilitator and participant in the classroom—no matter the subject or the academic year—is critical. By setting expectations, educators can set students up for success in the hybrid classroom.

  3. Make it easy for participants to ask questions; inquisitiveness drives engagement.
  4. Give students space to ask questions in both synchronous and asynchronous learning environments. A Webex Teams room for open questions? Check. A running chat during your class session? Check. A one-on-one chat with the teacher to ensure students can always reach their educator? Check. A breakout room feature to create groups for students to hold discussions and ask questions in a smaller setting? Check. Tools like the Webex for Education suite make asking questions easy—no matter where students are located.

  5. Use your video to help make students feel more comfortable.
  6. For those students who are not in the physical classroom, when you as the educator turn on your video, it makes the experience more engaging, gives virtual students visual cues to follow along, and allows students to feel like they’re in the classroom with you. In turn, when students turn their video on, it allows them to engage with the rest of the class and express their reactions to the lesson.

  7. Integrate collaboration tools like Webex with your learning management system (LMS) to make it easier to schedule synchronous online classes.
  8. By integrating your collaboration tool with your LMS, the organization and scheduling of your online or hybrid class become simpler, clearer, and easier to follow! With the click of a button, students can navigate from the LMS into your virtual classroom. Using the Webex Education Connector, you can make hours of availability, office hours, and class times clear to your students in LMS platforms like D2L’s Brightspace platform.

  9. Record and archive synchronous sessions so that students who were not able to attend can access them later.

Upload any materials shared during a synchronous class to course collaboration spaces, like your class Webex Teams room, and to the LMS. Knowing exactly where to find resources will keep students engaged and enable them to take ownership of their education process without disruption to the rest of the class.

Hungry for more tips like this? See the rest of the tips here.

How are you blending your classroom? Tell us in the comments below.

Discover more helpful tools to build the hybrid classroom with Webex, and learn more about Cisco’s education portfolio.

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