The Hyb-IT-up project was present at the Eighteenth European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, ECTEL 2023, held in Aveiro, Portugal from 4th to 8th September 2023.
We organized a mock hybrid co-design workshop to share the goal of empowering higher education teachers and learners to leverage the full potential of hybrid learning. It addressed the growing trend of hybrid learning in education, and the necessity to understand its affordances, obstacles, and optimal ways of implementing it. The workshop included the following activities:
- Presenting ERASMUS+ Project Hyb-IT-up and respective key concepts, i.e. hybrid teaching and learning and the framework of digital competencies for hybrid teaching and learning, including a brainstorming activity on relevant constraints and potentialities;
- Icebreaking & team-building activities (getting to know each other);
- Developing hands-on activities following a World Café methodology, using Zoom and Miro platforms;
- Presenting the main conclusions of the workshop (wrap-up);
- Evaluating the workshop.
The workshop started with an introduction to hybrid learning and our preliminary framework. We define hybrid learning as a modality in which some students attend classes in person while others join virtually, and teachers instruct both simultaneously through an ICT infrastructure (cf. Raes et al., 2020; Beatty, 2019). Hybrid learning and teaching may consist of different combinations of face-to-face and online delivery modes: “(1) the teacher and some learners in the same physical space plus other learners connecting remotely; (2) all the learners in the same physical space with the teacher connecting remotely; (3) some learners in the same physical space plus the teacher and other learners connecting online” (Lázár et al., 2022, p. 23). Thus, we looked at the different types of potential hybrid learning scenarios and considered the framework for supporting teachers and students in identifying and improving their competencies for hybrid learning and as feedback and reflection based on their own educational practices. Afterwards, a co-design strategy was chosen to validate and further develop the hybrid teaching guidelines we wanted to achieve.
This workshop’s design was based on a world café methodology to actively engage participants in exploring the concept of hybrid teaching and learning with teachers and educators. Given that it includes structured conversational processes to facilitate meaningful and collaborative dialogue among groups of people, it is often used to promote open and authentic dialogue and encourage diverse perspectives in situations where complex issues or challenges require innovative solutions.
Participants were divided into groups including some project members, emulating a hybrid teaching scenario. They were asked then to tackle the potential of hybrid teaching and learning, presenting solutions for specific situations, considering the generic, contextual and transformative competencies. The workshop dynamics combined rounds of conversation between participants and the Miro platform was used to create a visual record of the main conclusions. The main goal was to lead participants to engage in a collective sense-making process, identifying common themes, connections, and insights that have emerged from the various conversations. Throughout the process, facilitators also tried to capture key insights or questions that emerged during the discussions.
To provide the participants with a hands-on experience of hybrid learning, the Hyb-IT-up team created a mock-up hybrid learning situation. We divided the group members into onsite and online participants by relocating online participants to another place. We set up a main meeting room with a video conferencing tool – ZOOM – and divided members into small breakout rooms. The workshop participants themselves tried to solve technological and communication problems.
The hands-on activities included: a) designing a hybrid teaching and learning scenario for the context we provided (in group), b) providing peer feedback (group-to-group) and c) undertaking a three-minute pitch followed by a discussion (whole group). This aimed to provoke the participants’ thoughts on pedagogical challenges and potentials of hybrid learning and teaching from the perspectives of both teachers and learners.
This workshop facilitated the process of co-designing a framework for hybrid learning and teaching competencies, and guidebooks to foster such hybrid competencies, in the scope of the Erasmus+ project Hyb-IT-up. From the participants’ points of view, the concrete expected outputs encompassed a hands-on experience in hybrid learning, a comprehensive overview of the challenges it raises and the experience of a co-design approach. From the point of view of the development of the project, the data collected through the Miro discussion board shed light on the design principles of a hybrid learning and teaching framework, which will further underpin the creation of guidebooks, micro-courses and workshops to foster the development of hybrid teaching and learning competencies.
Lastly, we must admit that organizing a hybrid session is tough for us organizers as well, because we encountered a lot of unexpected technical issues during the workshop. Here, we want to share some with you as a note to ourselves. For example, the participants were not able to share their screens in the breakout rooms because of the co-host rights issue. We should have made them co-hosts before sending them to separate rooms to allow them to access all the functions. Another problem was that the main laptop used to project the contents to a big screen somehow did not go well with the ZOOM system. We ended up switching to Microsoft Teams to solve this issue. In such situations, the participants were skillful enough to cope with the challenges themselves. For example, one group created their own meeting room on Teams and invited other members to the room by sharing the link. This co-design workshop gave us evidence that not only teachers but also students need competencies to effectively participate in hybrid learning settings. We will conduct another round of a co-design workshop to develop guidebooks and courses for both teachers and students to enable them to leverage this unique learning opportunity!
Beatty, B. J. (2019). Hybrid-Flexible Course Design: Implementing Student-Directed Hybrid Classes. EdTech Books. https://edtechbooks.org/hyflex/
Lázár, C., Galambos, A., Váczi, D. & Péter-Both, E. (2020). Learning While doing: Hybrid Workshops in Romania and 10+1 Conclusions relevant for School Education. In L. Jõgi, J. Leoste, S. Väät, M. Tuul & C. Lazar. A Flexible Framework for Hybrid Lower-Secondary Education (pp. 23-30). Tallinn University. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FO4-TpgVJKVGJTbSSaglPTGeYjjuFwJg/view
Raes, A., Detienne, L., Windey, I., & Depaepe, F. (2020). A systematic literature review on synchronous hybrid learning: Gaps identified. Learning Environments Research, 23(3), 269–290. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10984-019-09303-z