Guidance on using hybrid teaching spaces

At LSE, we use the term hybrid teaching to mean synchronous combining of online/on-campus. For example, a teacher might use Zoom to bring students who are studying online into an otherwise "normal" seminar space.

In 2021/22, a number of colleagues will be teaching both remote and on-campus students at the same time. To facilitate this, DTS has made modifications to over 80 teaching rooms on campus. It is important to note the details of those modifications and how they might impact on teaching and learning.  

This guidance aims to:

  • support class teachers in reviewing and finalising their teaching plans in light of timetabling and room specification information. You should read this guide in conjunction with your timetable, paying close attention to your room allocation and the information below about how your teaching spaces are equipped
  • outline how you might ensure two-way communication in a hybrid learning space, and suggests some broad possible teaching and learning activities.
  •  provide guidance on working with a Moderator GTAs.

This short video introduces you to the equipment set-up and answers key questions. You will need your LSE username and password to access this video.

We have also prepared student-facing guidance that you can download and adapt, if required, to suit your teaching context.

How have rooms been equipped to enable hybrid teaching?

DTS have modified teaching rooms to allow for two Hybrid teaching set-ups, which are known as Hybrid and Hybrid Lite.

You can check which rooms have been modified here (updated 29 October.)

Further details of how the spaces have been modified and what these modifications provide for can be accessed via the links below:

What can I do to prepare for hybrid teaching?

If you are unfamiliar with your teaching rooms, you can see images and the layout of the room when you log onto Resource Booker. These images may not depict the current set up, but they should help you develop some sense of the space.

Guidance on using the various technological set-ups will be found within each of the teaching rooms.

You can book a familiarisation with the classroom technology and training session by e-mailing dts.teaching.support@lse.ac.uk.

Having identified the room(s) you will be teaching in and how they are set up for hybrid teaching, you should now review your teaching plans and assess whether you will need to adapt them. 

For further guidance or to discuss your plans, please contact your Eden Centre department adviser.

Ensuring two-way communication in a hybrid context

  • How can those attending via Zoom get all the information they need from the room?

All rooms will capture what is projected, and the tutor’s voice, and transfer these to Zoom. Decide how you will check with students on Zoom that this is working.

In the ‘hybrid lite’ classrooms it may be hard for students on Zoom to hear contributions from students in the classroom, as the microphones are directed to capture the main speaker. You may have to repeat or summarise student contributions.

If a student is giving a presentation from their desk, it may be harder for students on Zoom to hear. It may be useful for the student to temporarily join the Zoom meeting. The student would need to silence their device or use a headset to avoid feedback.

  • How can students on Zoom feed back into the room and contribute?

Verbally -students on Zoom can be heard over the classroom loudspeakers. If there is feedback, turn down the volume.

Non-verbal signs such as nods or ‘thumbs up’ - students on Zoom might not turn on their camera, or their images may be too small to easily see gestures. You could ask them to use meeting reactions, or the raise hand feature.

Written contributions in Zoom chat - you (or your Moderator GTA) can read the chat at intervals for contributions and questions. Set expectations with students of how often the chat will be checked. If you do not want students to use the chat for a period, it is possible to turn it off.

Written contributions online - you can gather student contributions and questions through an online platform, such as a Moodle forum or a shared editable document on Word or OneNote. This would need to be set up in advance and shared with all students. This could also be used by students in the classroom (see ‘Possible activities’, below).

Activities that support two-way communication

Sharing projected materials. Any material that is projected in the classroom can also be shared throughZoom e.g. slides, images. 

Using a white-board equivalent. The whiteboard does not show up on Zoom, so we recommend using the visualiser as an alternative. You can then take your notes away to refer to, and can bring them back to future classes.

Plenary discussion. Traditional question and answer techniques can still be used in a hybrid classroom

  • Explain to students how they can indicate they wish to respond/contribute. Students in the classroom could raise a hand, and students on Zoom could use meeting reactions, or the raise hand feature.
  • Ask a question/invite a contribution. Watch both the classroom and the Zoom meeting, and state which student should respond.
  • Check the student contribution was heard by all. You may have to repeat or summarise.

Contributions to an online space: all students can contribute to a shared platform or document on Word or OneNote, or a Moodle Forum set to post contributions with no time delay. This would need to be set up in advance and shared with all students. Students in the classroom will not be able to contribute if they have not brought a suitable device.

Polling: all students can take a poll on Moodle, Turning Point or similar.

Pair and group work: Seminars and classes are well placed to share the outputs of group activity undertaken before class. But some pair or group work may be possible during a class. Students in the classroom may be able to discuss in pairs, while students on Zoom can work in a group. If you have a large number of students on Zoom, students can be divided into breakout rooms. This may require a Moderator GTA to be effective. Only the host of a Zoom meeting can create breakout rooms, co-hosts cannot do this. 

Guidance for Moderator GTAs

Moderator GTAs play an invaluable role in hybrid classrooms. You will be helping students to learn, and to contribute to one another’s learning.

Seminars and classes at LSE have a great variety of approaches and activities. This guidance is therefore written as a series of variables to discuss in advance with the tutor you are working with, so you can agree expectations for your role. It also includes some activities you might facilitate, and some of the capacities of Zoom.

Will you be in the classroom, or not? If you are in the classroom

  • Will you be using the teaching PC?
  • Will you be using your own device? If so, you will need to bring a laptop and a headset with a built-in microphone, and the tutor will need to make sure there is a chair and desk for you without exceeding the capacity of the room.

Will you be reading the Zoom chat?

  • Will the chat be kept open throughout, or turned off for periods?
  • Are you expected to respond to questions in the chat? Answering questions during a different activity could develop student understanding, but a second channel of communication could distract students. Agree with the tutor and let students know what is and isn’t possible.

Will you or the tutor be ensuring that contributions from students in the classroom reach the students on Zoom? This could involve repeating a contribution to make it audible or writing a summary in the chat.

Are you expected to direct a webcam, so students on Zoom can see students in class?

Will you be helping to facilitate group discussion on Zoom? For example, asking questions to help progress the discussion, providing additional information, or correcting misconceptions.

Does the tutor want you to place students on Zoom into breakout groups? This will depend on the number of students on Zoom, and the nature of the activities. If you are using break-out rooms:

  • you will need to know how to create breakout rooms and move between them
  • the host of the Zoom meeting must make you host, at the start of each class, as only the host can create breakout rooms. Co-hosts cannot create breakout rooms.
  • You will need a suitable laptop or tablet. It is not possible to set up breakout rooms from an iOS device such as an iPad, or an Android device.

How are you expected to help students on Zoom contribute to the class?

  • Will you look out for students who wish to answer a question? How will they indicate they want to contribute? You could use meeting reactions, or the raise hand feature.
  • Will you select individuals to feed back from a discussion?
  • Will you share points that students have written in the chat?
  • Are you expected to ensure that students on Zoom appear on screen in class?

How can you get the tutor’s attention if necessary?