Hybrid learning aims to provide students with helpful information and not to bombard them with irrelevant and unnecessary pieces of content. Applying the principle of simplicity in hybrid learning means conveying information in the simplest way possible. Less information will always be more. When too much clutter vies for the learner’s attention, the learner may not see the woods for the trees.
However, keeping it simple can be an art. So let’s discuss some tips to improve your hybrid learning design and help learners get through the course.
Navigation in your module
Look through your module space from a student’s perspective. Is it clearly signposted where the information is? Is there an obvious starting point? Spend some time adding context to each section in your module, to give students an idea of what they will be learning and what to expect. Ensure that the most important information is easily accessible. Do the areas of your module (and the content within those areas) follow a logical and consistent naming convention?
Use visual elements
A graph, image or chart can help make sense of more complex ideas. Graphics can really help to solidify your key concepts and assist in student’s understanding of the information. You also resonate with a wider range of learning styles by adding this element. Adding videos into your content can also help to break up larger blocks of text.
Use clear language
There are usually a limited amount of visual cues within online teaching, which can create obstacles in your student’s understanding. Ensure that your communication is as clear as possible by eliminating jargon and using shorter sentences. Split your content up with headings to make it easier to navigate.
Set up a FAQ section on your module
Setting up a frequently asked questions section in your module makes it easy for your students to find the answers they need. This reduces the amount of time that you spend answering the same questions for different students, and also encourages independent learning for your students. You could update the FAQ section of your module on a monthly basis depending on the types of questions you’re receiving often.
Pre-set announcements for assignments
Set up reminder announcements for each assignment date in your module. You could set these up at the start of the module so that they are all ready to go well in advance. This gives the whole cohort a prompt, and saves you time further into the module when you may be busy teaching or answering student queries. Advice on setting up announcements within your module can be found in this guide: https://eatsupport.tees.ac.uk/staff/knowledgebase/blackboard-staff-quick-start-guide/
Simplifying your approach not only reduces the stress of your working day, it reduces student confusion and makes your online teaching more effective.