The Principles of Course Design for Hybrid Learning toolkit was launched last week 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/
Part three of the toolkit covers structuring your content. It is important that you consider the structure of your material. Hybrid learning is not as simple as just shifting existing materials online, some aspects may not work in the same way that they used to. Simply uploading materials and activities online is not an effective way of conducting learning in this environment. Successful learning design is a clearly laid out pathway for students to take each week, undertaking active learning through rigorous pedagogic designs. It is vital that it is clear to the students how each activity will benefit their learning in relation to the course.
Throughout the toolkit there are a range of questions for you to consider within your planning. Below is an example of one of these questions:
- How is your module currently set up for campus-only delivery?
- Think about how you currently deliver your module. Are there any parts of it that can be seamlessly delivered online, or are there parts that may need some modification? It is important to consider which elements you think would be best delivered on campus and which would be best delivered online and try to stick with these throughout your hybrid learning planning.
Constructing the content
Check out Stage 3 of the toolkit for the various models that can help you decide how to structure your content.
You may wish to set out your content in weeks or topics, with a timeframe to coincide with this. This helps to give students an idea of what to expect on a weekly or monthly basis and helps to create a structure for them whilst they transition to this new way of learning.
Structuring your content on a weekly basis ensures that your students are progressing at the same pace, whereas a monthly structure offers some more flexibility for your students.
“Learning design should be informed by the following domains – subject knowledge, pedagogical theory, technological know-how and practical experience. It should also allow for innovation in all of these domains”. – Mor and Craft (2012) Drawing on these factors, and the advantages of tutor presence online, will help you decide how best to structure your content. The link between learning materials, and drawing on learning outcomes, assessment strategies, learning activities and subject discipline pedagogies, may also influence your decision-making.
The toolkit also explores key considerations on how to support, encourage and maintain student engagement with the learning in order to spot where further support is needed.
It is most important to keep track of which students may be struggling with the temporary transition to hybrid learning in order to be able to offer them the necessary support. Formative assessments, covered in stage five of the toolkit and in this blog post: https://blogs.tees.ac.uk/lteonline/2020/04/07/formative-assessment-online/ are helpful indicators for module tutors and students to determine progress and achievement throughout a module.
Setting up your week/topic
At the start of each week or topic, students should be aware of the learning outcomes and what is expected from them. In Stage 1 of the toolkit one of our recommendations was the use of study planner which sets out a clear schedule of activities for students. The following blog post includes links to various planners that can be utilized by students: https://blogs.tees.ac.uk/lteonline/2020/03/25/preparing-students-for-online-learning/. A video is a great way to explain the requirements of the week, as it makes it clear for the student as well as giving a more personal approach to the module. There are a range of different resources that can help your students to enhance their learning, which can be found on the Learning Hub here: https://libguides.tees.ac.uk/learning_hub
Various models of structuring content are also available within the toolkit document for you to consider for your module planning.
We hope that the toolkit will provide everything that you need to plan your hybrid learning module effectively. However, if you require any further assistance with the structuring of your module, please contact eLearning@tees.ac.uk where we can offer you various modes of support.