The Right Material for the Right Environment
Not all activities can take place effectively online. As you outline your course , consider the modules or activities that are best for in-person learning and the ones that can be completed online. Labs and experiments are a great example of in-person activities. Silent reading, writing or independently paced lessons that can be completed asynchronously are great examples of activities best for online learning days.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all students have the skills needed to adapt to learning in different classroom settings. One way to ensure access and inclusivity for all students is to incorporate the Universal Design for Learning strategies suggested by the National Education Association.
For elementary students, it’s important to start by gauging the understanding of your students as you progress through your lesson. In an in-person setting, you may rely largely on facial expressions, body language and verbal feedback to do so.
For hybrid students learning remotely, things get a little more challenging. You can’t have students coming off mute every two minutes to say if they understand the material or not. Try to give students opportunities to share their understanding throughout the lesson in fun and creative new ways. For example, you can have students ask and answer short questions via chat. More on that later.
In a high school or higher-education setting, set clear expectations for how and when you can be reached for questions about assignments by utilizing office hours, both virtually and in-person.
Make Space for Socialization and Meaningful Discussion
For middle and high-school students, the discussion format is one of the most popular options for in-person and remote learning. Hybrid classes can accommodate this set-up through break-out rooms .
• Start by providing your students with an open-ended prompt on a relevant topic.
• Divide students into pairs or small groups through break-out rooms.
• Have students discuss their thoughts for a set amount of time.
• Ask students to note their key ideas in a Google Doc.
• Use a round-robin format to allow each group to share their discussion.
• As other groups present, students can jot down their thoughts on the information and presentations in a Google Sheet.
This virtual take on the traditional discussion allows for personal and group reflection while strengthening written and verbal communication skills.
Missing the conversations that tend to flow before and after class? For higher-education settings, consider giving students a few minutes to socialize before getting started, or hold open office hours on the classroom video channel after class ends.
Consider providing a place for discussion with a classroom lounge. To make it more inclusive for a hybrid setting, add a virtual forum and share material you otherwise wouldn’t be able to get to in class for students to interact with. To keep it fun, play trivia or post links to interesting subtopics to spark casual conversation.
Making Your Classroom Interactive for Stronger Student Engagement
Incorporating interactive learning opportunities is one of the most effective ways to maximize cognitive engagement.
For elementary students, games are the perfect way to add that interactive element to the learning experience. Using a FRM Smartboard , students from all locations can join together to play fun and engaging games such as Kahoot, story sequence, Pictionary, and more.
Using interactive games and other multimedia types can also be effective for engagement at the high school level or in a higher education setting. In a recent study , educators found that thoughtfully selecting digital activities led to significantly greater student engagement.
These different strategies don’t have to be limited to only synchronous or asynchronous settings. For example, FRM Smartboards integrate with a variety of video-conferencing platforms , meaning live debates can take place in real time with both in-person and remote students.
In Higher Education
In higher education, consider the “ Students as Partners ,” or SaP approach. The SaP approach works to reverse the norm that faculty are the single experts on a particular topic by giving all participants the opportunity to engage as they would on a peer to peer level.
While instructors are experts at knowing what to teach, students are experts at knowing how they learn. According to the research, by giving students an active role in deciding how they learn, it creates a classroom environment where students can share new perspectives and ultimately gain a deeper understanding of course material.
Explore How Students Want to Learn