Hybrid teaching: Clear instructions foster a sense of security and predictability

New situations such as hybrid teaching can bring about a sense of unease in both the teacher and the students which may have a negative effect in participation and interaction during the teaching sessions. One foundation of any successful course or teaching situation is a safe and predictable environment that encourages participation. Predictability and feeling of security can be fostered with clear guidelines, instructions, timetables and rules regarding the course.

What do I need?

If possible, have clear and detailed course outline available for enrolling students. At the beginning of the course have clear course instructions and rules readily available on the online teaching platform for students to familiarize themselves with. Alongside these general instructions and rules, you can add lesson or exercise specific instructions to be available when needed. Instructions can also include troubleshooting tips for remote participation or backup plans in the case that remote connections don’t work at all.

What should I take into account?

When creatin the instructions:

In any teaching situation, the main guidelines are set the organization you work for and good pedagogical practice, but it is worth considering to what extent these guidelines could and should be made visible to students in the instructions of the course as well. This thought process can be aided by using for pedagogical manuscript or other methods of planning and course design, which helps to outline the specific requirements of teaching situations in advance. Also, look up possible principles for safer space and check whether these should be addressed in the course guidelines. An example of a commonplace yet essential guideline that is worth reviewing at the beginning of most courses are how and when recording of lectures and teaching situations is done.

When presenting the instructions:

It is recommended to review the written instructions at the beginning of the course. If the course specific guidelines conflict with some more general guidelines or established practices, it is a good to clarify which guidelines and instruction should be followed and why. It is good practice to provide the instruction sufficiently in advance, for example in the course’s online learning platform, so that it is possible for the students familiarize themselves with them in advance and ask questions if needed.

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