The Edinburgh Hybrid Teaching Exchange: what we’ve learned about hybrid since June

Reading time: 3 minutes

Back in July, bulletin shared the work that went into launching the Hybrid Teaching Exchange. The website showcases how colleagues across the University have approached the shift to a hybrid teaching. Here, Joe Arton, Academic Developer and part of the Hybrid Teaching Exchange project team, shares what they’ve learnt since June.

When the Hybrid Teaching Exchange was launched in early June 2020, our goal was to pull together work in progress, plans, ideas and existing resources across the University to provide support for staff as they transitioned into an unfamiliar way of teaching and learning. As colleagues adapted to new ways of working, it was important that we learned from people’s experience of teaching in this new environment by sharing that experience and identifying moments of best practice.

This is why we have taken an iterative approach to academic development around hybrid and sought out extraordinary but accessible examples of creativity and practice-based solutions to hybrid teaching activities. Since our launch, we have published more than 100 posts featuring videos, illustrations and infographics from colleagues and students across the institution. As part of adapting to the needs of our community, we have added two new themes, Alternative Assessments and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and greatly expanded the depth of content in existing themes.

Our original Exploring Hybrid Teaching theme includes new disciplinary perspectives and insights from academic staff and students’ experience of adapting to digital and hybrid teaching. We’ve added a video from Sarah Ivory on how to stay focused in pre-recorded lectures, and advice from IAD colleagues on how to do effective socially-distanced in-person small-group teaching. We’ve also expanded our IAD video series featuring discussions from experienced online educators on how to approach hybrid teaching and assessment. We have a blog introducing new University guidance on running educational activities outdoors and updated information from Moray House School of Education and Sport (MHSES) on how to make better use of outdoor places and spaces for hybrid teaching.

Our new theme on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion responds to the current moment as well as historical currents and includes a selection of resources, developed by Rayya Ghul on recognising and counteracting racial and sexuality-based microaggressions and those based on transphobia and misunderstanding of the trans and/or non-binary experience. There is a post from Velda McCune where she unpacks some common thinking around equality, equity and justice and there’s guidance on translating diversity and inclusion in the curriculum. There’s also advice on how to create equity of experience around technology, engagement, and supporting students with protected characteristics.

Our resource page has been revised and expanded to link to recently updated University support and other information, and we have ensured that existing content contains the most relevant and helpful information. There are additional quick tips and resources for teaching online for tutors and demonstrators and resources for staff providing support for students in a hybrid learning environment. We have included perspectives and information on supporting staff and student mental health and wellbeing and will continue to add more content to these pages. There are also resources for leaders and managers who are supporting staff in their approach to Hybrid Teaching provided by the Learning and Organisation Development team.

Please do consider contributing to the site or making use of the comments sections and let us know if you have suggestions for future themes and topics. We’d also welcome your feedback on the site in the comments sections and we are currently running a five minute usability survey.

Illustrations: Kirsty Johnston, The University of Edinburgh, 2020. All rights reserved.