How do our hybrid (class + online) courses work so well

“I’m dying to know how you do that:
How do you teach hybrid courses, while some students are in class and some are online? I never managed it”.
This was a question on FB by a colleague who saw the photos from our hybrid training.

The answer was this:

• First, you need to be a very experienced trainer.
One who can feel the cues from the class and from online at the same time, and who knows how to give an equal amount of attention to both the people online and in class.
• You need to plan well: To plan the day with exercises and activities which fit both types of learning.
So we plan the day according to this, and we give a lot of thought into choosing and creating exercises which both parts of the class can join together, or sometimes we’ll create the same exercise in 2 separate forms, to suit each learner.
• You need at least 2 trainers.
One who is taking the class and the other one who makes sure that the people at home see, hear, understand. To pay attention when they’re raising their hands or asking questions in the chat.
We currently have 2 trainers in class, 2 assistants in class, and a 3rd assistant who joins online.
It’s extremely important for us to keep the good ratio between students and staff members.
• You need excellent technical equipment and enough of it.
We invested in a top microphone which has a surround effect, so the people at home can hear even the quietest person from the back of the class and feel as if they’re in the room.
We have 2 professional cameras in the room (one which can rotate towards whoever speaks), so the people at home can see the class from more than one angle.
• You need a computer with a set of headphones in the room per each person at home.
This is extremely important for 1 on 1 work and for keeping the safety and confidentiality of the people talking.
So we’re always making sure that some students volunteer to bring their own computers as well as the ones we bring.
• You need to have a digital board / big screen in class.
This is to make sure that everyone in the class can see everyone online.
And last but not least:
• The students play a huge role in the success of operating this.
When all the students are there for each other, the sky is the limit and you can make everything work, trust me!
No challenge is big when everyone collaborates for the success of everyone, and that’s beautiful to see.
We make sure that the students are well informed of the challenges and how to overcome them.
We encourage everyone to participate and take part.
They’re doing such a great job, that we can only be grateful for the opportunities they bring us and the groups.
Sounds complicated but we’re so used to it now that it works beautifully.

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