The Principles of Course Design for Hybrid Learning toolkit was launched with the aim to contextualise the Hybrid Learning model to the nature of your subject discipline. Further information about the toolkit as a whole, as well as a link to download the resource can be found here: https://blogs.tees.ac.uk/lteonline/learning-and-teaching/principles-of-course-design-for-hybrid-learning/
Perhaps the most important benefit of creating module introductions is to help your students understand why they are doing what you are asking them to do. Module introductions should focus on providing context, whilst also covering essentials such as tutor contact details, module overview, the module guide, assessment, study planner and preparing students for hybrid learning. In addition, when completed, your module introductions will help highlight the narrative arc of your course: how each module builds toward those after it and how each serves a vital role in the students’ achievement of the course objectives.
The Principles of Course Design for Hybrid Learning toolkit covers a range of topics to consider for Introducing your module to your students in stage two of the toolkit.
Throughout stage 2, there are a range of questions for you to consider, which help to balance the needs of students and their expectations and the opportunities to build in meaningful support and initiatives for students to succeed.
Examples of key considerations include:
- How you will be able to support your students?
At the outset of your module, we encourage a quality introduction video to your course and module. Your introduction video can humanise the learning experience for all students, but especially for the more hesitant learner. The video will include an introduction to yourself and the teaching team if there is more than one of you teaching on the module. You should include an overview of the module, as well as what is unique and relevant about the module, how the module will be delivered, managing expectations, support available, teaching details, learning outcomes, timescales and assessment.
Top tip – Aim to make the video short and highlight the key points that are essential for the student. Try to establish a good tutor presence from the outset.
Being able to know how and when to contact a tutor is even more important with a hybrid learning model, particularly if you have a role as a Course Leader, module tutor or personal tutor.
How much time will be spent learning via synchronous and asynchronous methods each week? This could be facilitated by mapping out a schedule of how you plan to schedule synchronous and asynchronous learning. This will also help students to plan and will help drive high-quality learning and teaching. There are tools available to help you with this, examples being Teams and outlook calendars.
- Are students familiar with how their module/course is structured, including which elements are facilitated online and which will take place on campus, and how to best achieve learning from a seamless ecosystem of learning?
Keeping the structure simple and clear is also essential. Substantiating the module welcome video will typically be a guide outlining module aims and outcomes, structure, components, learning outcomes, topics to be covered, relevance to the full programme, assessment deadlines & support.
A Study Planner helps to ensure that students always know what they are doing each week with clear signposting of relevant materials and week/topic content. Also, to develop a solid academic learning journey for students when studying online, which goes beyond shifting content online using learning design to a carefully crafted weekly structure, which will be covered in stage 3 of the toolkit.
- How will you help students understand the important questions about hybrid learning?
An example response might be explaining what hybrid learning is, what it means in terms of their learning journey, and how it will be implemented at the university. For example, you could use the welcome video to facilitate this. This could also be an opportunity to explain how hybrid learning as a model for the course can afford students to succeed in their learning.
The switch to a hybrid learning model means that it is more important than ever to focus on the well-being of students. These comprise of Academic Resilience, Critical self-reflection, Growth Mindset: how to look at problems in a positive way, How to study well, Self-belief: thinking positively about yourself and your abilities, Self-management of expectations, Succeed@exams and Time Management.
There are a variety of materials from Student and Library Services to assist and support students in preparing new and returning students for hybrid learning and for returning students to transition from a full campus experience to a hybrid model of learning
These resources can be added to your module space online: https://libguides.tees.ac.uk/learning_hub/wellbeing
There is also guidance on the student portal for accessing mental health support: https://www.tees.ac.uk/sections/stud/mental_health.cfm
- Initial activities and navigating the online module space:
You can introduce various ice-breaker activities to get your students used to using digital technologies, including the VLE, MS Teams or any other technology you plan on using for synchronous or asynchronous activities. This will help familiarise them and make them feel more comfortable from the outset.
We have only covered a few of the questions that are there to consider within the toolkit. We encourage you to explore the first part of the toolkit with course teams and module tutors to consider some of the key questions when planning a hybrid module.
LTE offers a variety of support for schools. Please contact us via eLearning@tees.ac.uk.