Hybrid Teaching-Scenarios

What do we mean by „hybrid teaching-scenario“?

Generally speaking, “hybrid” means “mixed”, a mixture of onsite and digital lecturing. The concept normally refers to simultaneously teaching onsite and online in one single lesson
Blended learning refers to the chronological sequence of online and face-to-face phases in the course.
Hybrid scenarios in this sense are technically challenging and do not always make sense, didactically speaking. Thus, lecturers should examine carefully whether they really want to use such a scenario.
Concerning the technical and didactical implementation, differences to traditional lecturing depend on these criteria:
  • type of lecture
  • lecture room
  • intensity of interaction
  • and size of group.

When does it make sense to offer a course in a hybrid format?

Hybrid teaching is particularly recommended for courses that partly or fully take these aspects into account:
  • The course teaches content and skills that can also be practiced online.
  • The interactive components used onsite  can also be shown online.

Which hybrid teaching scenarios are possible at the University of Stuttgart?

The three scenarios presented here differ in terms of complexity and effort:
Scenario 1 is the easiest to implement.
Scenario 3 is most difficult.
Following below, we explain three different scenarios and give technical recommendations.

Scenario 1: Small lecture or seminar/ lively interaction / no synchronous transmission /online teaching with onsite seminar in rotating small groups (flipped classroom as blended learning with subgroups)

The teaching takes place predominantly asynchronously with the help of ILIAS, in which the students complete the provided content and tasks independently. At the same time, students take part in the event in small rotating groups onsite. The presence serves to discuss and clarify open questions and is neither recorded nor do students take part in it remotely.
  • Interaction with the respective participants alternately possible in presence.
  • In addition, offer asynchronous communication, for example with the help of a forum for the students in the online phase.
  • The participants are divided into smaller groups according to the maximum number of people allowed in the classroom (e.g. using the booking pool in ILIAS).
  • Communicate to the students in good time when which group will be onsite (e.g. using a seminar plan).
  • Make content and tasks in the ILIAS course available to all participants.
  • An ILIAS course with relevant materials for the online phases.
  • No investment required.

Scenario 2: Large lecture / little interaction / recording / optional synchronous transmission

This scenario assumes that while holding an onsite lecture with a high number of participants, the lecture is simultaneously transmitted live to online participants.
In this scenario, the lecture is also being recorded. This is possible with the existing technical equipment in our lecture rooms.
If the lecture is not recorded, students who have technical problems or time constraints miss the lecture and are left out. Furthermore, onsite participants cannot re-watch the lecture contents and learn from the recording.  
Generally speaking, in this scenario the recording is more important for the students than participating online via Webex.
  • Interaction of those students participating onsite is possible; the lecturer has to repeat questions and discussions for those participating online, so these are recorded/transmitted clearly via Webex.
  • Interaction of those students participating online takes place via chat-system. The lecturer or an assisting person has to read the questions aloud for the students in the lecture room.
  • Online participation takes place via Webex. Webex catches the sound of the lecture room microphone, the application released via Webex (e.g. PowerPoint) and (if applicable) the video on the lecturer’s notebook. This means that events only filmed by the lecture room camera (e.g. experiments), are not transmitted via Webex, but they are recorded.
  • For recording the lecture, the lecture room equipment is used. The sound of the lecture room microphone, the lecture room camera and the presentation transmitted to the lecture room beamer are being recorded (not the screen of the lecturer’s notebook).
  • The recording is uploaded in the ILIAS-course.
  • It is recommended that the lecturer is assisted by another person whose responsibility it is to look after the chat.
  • Most lecture rooms with camera are being equipped for this scenario. An instruction document will be issued in time for winter semester. Please refer to our list of lecture rooms (German page)  to determine which lecture room is suitable for this scenario.
  • No investments needed; lecture rooms are equipped for this scenario.

Scenario 3: Small lecture or seminar / lively interaction / synchronous transmission/recording possible

This scenario assumes a lecture in which interaction has a vital role. The onsite lecture is transmitted live in sound and vision, meaning the lecturer and the attending students are captured on Webex. Being able to see and hear the attending students facilitates interaction for those students participating online.
  • Interaction of those students participating onsite is possible as usual.
  • Interaction of those students participating online is possible via Webex-audio or chat-system.
  • It is difficult to moderate a debate with onsite and online participants, and the spontaneity and liveliness of the debate suffers. Thus, it is recommended to alternate between phases of lively onsite discussion, with the online participants just listening, and phases of discussion with the online participants.
  • The special camera and further technical equipment will have to be brought to the lecture room and taken back if they cannot be mounted to the wall / attached somewhere permanently.
  • The lecturer has to oversee the lecture room and the Webex-meeting-room at the same time. In order not to miss questions from students online, an assisting person might be useful.
  • Recordings are not really suitable for interactive teaching scenarios. They are problematic in terms of data protection law.
  • Special 180° cameras are needed, as well as additional microphone / speaker-combinations for the Webex-meeting.
  • When recording the lecture using the lecture room equipment in smaller lecture rooms (please refer to lecture room list), only the sound of the lecture room microphone and the presentation are being recorded. The interaction of the participants is not being recorded. This is easier concerning data privacyprotection; however, it reduces the recording to the lecturer’s inputs.
  • We will provide an instruction document in time for winter semester.
  • When recording from a lecture room / seminar room without recording equipment, recording will need to take place using the lecturer’s notebook, e.g. with OBS (German page). Everything caught on Webex is caught in the recording.
  • Additional cameras and microphone / speaker-combinations will cost between 1000,-€ and 2000,-€.
  • It is not planned to equip small lecture rooms / seminar rooms. The equipment will have to be brought by the lecturers.
  • It is easier to equip rooms that can be locked after lessons or where camera / microphone / speakers can be attached somewhere.
Tips for implementation
  • Inform students in good time about the hybrid format of the lecture  (ideally at the beginning of the semester).
  • Make materials available in ILIAS (PDFs of the slides presented, possibly a link to the recording, booking pool ...).
  • Record live broadcast if necessary.
  • Use co-moderators (e.g. student assistants or select a student at the beginning of a classroom event) to support the moderation of discussions between the onsite participants and the online participants.
  • Keep it simple; less is more: Use tools specifically to back up results (e.g. Etherpad).
  • Keep an eye on all participants and position yourself in the room in such a way that both the onsite attendants and the online participants can see you as teaching staff.
  • Plenary phases are often a little more difficult to understand for the online participants. Therefore, consciously involve the online participants, for example through the chat function in Webex or direct questions. Overall, make sure that the plenary phases are short.
  • Use presentations only when it is really necessary and keep them short in any case. It is better to offer presentations asynchronously as recordings and instead allow more space for discussion and exchange.
  • For group work, the attending participants can work in small groups onsite and offer breakout sessions in Webex for the online participants.
  • Enable all participants to access the information and materials covered via ILIAS.
  • Share work and discussion results with everyone or record or log them using suitable tools.
  • Ask for feedback in between or at the end of a seminar session.
"Hybrid-Format: Ideen und Hinweise" von Tatjana Spaeth (Universität Ulm), lizenziert unter CC BY 4.0.