Preparing for teaching: Hybrid teaching

Hybrid Teaching involves synchronously teaching students in the room with you and those online (e.g. in Collaborate). Although hybrid teaching has been part of our learning and teaching approaches since 2020, each Semester brings new concerns and challenges, thus you need to plan how you will teach in this way.

In recent online learning workshops, the CILT team heard great questions about planning hybrid learning: How do I engage students participating online? How can I build in opportunities for on-campus and off-campus students to work together? What can I do to create equitable learning experiences for a student moving between on-campus and online?

Hybrid Teaching isn’t easy at first.  You may be using a variety of physical classroom spaces alongside online sessions. There can be unique elements of your session that will require specific adaptations. You may also have lots of questions from students about what the hybrid learning experience will involve.

  • Let the students know what to expect within the session before the session starts. You may want to work with your students to set some norms for online/hybrid classes. Encourage students to add their questions in the chat while you are presenting so you can come back to them. It’s also good to have a microphone so they can talk to the group, just as they would have had you all still been in a physical classroom.
  • Make sure there’s some value add for the students who turn up and participate, rather than going through things that are already available within your FLO site.
  • Ask your students to come along with one question each that you can all discuss within the session.
  • Ask them to turn their microphones, and if possible cameras, on to help recreate the physical classroom. This is still a face-to-face session despite being online. With these turned on you can hear and see if they’re not paying attention and engaging.
  • Do a quick social check-in at the beginning of class so everyone has the chance to speak.
  • Run an ice-breaker activity as everyone arrives in the space. Icebreakers could be to help them get to know each other if it’s a relatively new group, or could be related to the topic content to see everyone’s ideas on a topic etc.
  • You could pose a question that requires them to pick a side and use the whiteboard function to get them to mark where they fall, like a dot voting exercise from a physical space.
  • You could pose a question and give them some time to consider their answer so they don’t feel like they’re put on the spot, then ask them to share their point of view. You could run this as an exercise or pose the question at the start and revisit it for their views at the end of the session.
  • Depending on how you’ve structured your teaching, you could ask the students to bring questions and brainstorm them as a group so there’s a need for them to contribute.
  • You could pose a question for the students to prepare before class and ask someone at random to share their response. They can screenshare if they’ve prepared a document and can talk through their answer for the rest of the group. You can make the chosen person a presenter, so they have access to the required functions.
  • If posing questions, you could use the polling function within Collaborate. I would recommend preparing your questions before hand and having them available in a word document so you can copy and paste them into the interface as you cannot pre-load them within Collaborate. This will save you from having to type them as the students wait.
  • You can also pose a question and ask the students to use the feedback available from their status button. The one to the left of their microphone on off button in the bottom centre of the screen. Agree/Disagree would probably be the most useful but there are other options for Happy/Sad, Surprised/Confused and Faster/Slower. I’ve seen the faster/slower used to ask how the pace of the course going for students and did they want to speed up or slow down.
  • You could use the breakout groups with a discussion question or task, maybe a scenario they need to solve, and then get them to report back to the whole group in the main room.

To help you begin, here are the hybrid learning resources available at Flinders and where to get support if you have more questions:

Tips from colleagues
Join a hybrid session and hear tips from colleagues. For more information and to enrol go to

Useful links

  • Good practice guide – Online pedagogy. This guide contains an explanation of the Community of Inquiry model and includes links to further resources.
  • Tip sheet on running hybrid classes. The good practice guides and tip sheets on the Flinders website support quality in both curriculum design and teaching practice. Good practice guides provide a pedagogical overview and tip sheets provide you with practical strategies and ideas for implementation.
  • Hybrid Teaching Workshop. In module 4, Considerations when developing and delivering hybrid teaching, you will find lots of resources that were shared during the workshop.
  • Audio Visual, Simulation & Event Services can provide a variety of services including training and support on the AV equipment in the various teaching rooms.
  • Room bookings allows you to book teaching spaces and see the technology available in each room.
  • eLearning equipment store bookings This page on the FLO Staff Support site discusses the equipment available for booking and links to the booking site. Some equipment needs to be booked through your college Online Learning Team (OLT).

Collaborate workshops
There are three workshops on Collaborate available through iEnrol. You will also find may other useful workshops here, including self-paced workshops.

To ensure inclusivity and equitable hybrid spaces, you might also find these strategies for community building online helpful.

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