It is taking place fully online, over three sessions spanning three weeks, allowing participants to combine it with their primary work responsibilities and providing sufficient time between the sessions for reflection and short assignments.
The first session, led by Nikos Mylonopoulos, took place on 20 October. It was focused around the challenges, expectations, experiences, and success factors in the new world of learning. We started with the key insight that it is neither technology nor location that makes the difference, but our preparedness to adapt our styles and methods to take advantage of the native capabilities of each learning modality, instead of attempting to replicate our long-standing teaching routines across different contexts. The aim of the first session was to open the mind to the possibilities of mixed and hybrid delivery by stimulating new thinking around presentation, performance, and the implementation of a multitude of teaching methods.
During active discussions, Nikos Mylonopoulos pointed out that better communication with the students results in better expectations, and that is as important as ever when it comes to hybrid teaching. As teachers, we need to clarify in advance what each group (online and onsite) can expect and make sure that online students are not just observers but full participants. To achieve that, he pointed out a few basic principles that truly should not be missed, such as slowing down the pace, increasing interactivity, accentuating gestures, and using online collaboration tools. As he says, even encouraging informal gossip between participants through the chat, can make a big difference when it comes to cultivating the relationships and sustaining the culture of the class.
The day concluded with a bonus session with Explain Everything, where participants learned how to use this super powerful whiteboard and received a free license to use until the end of the academic year. Each participant will also embark on a challenge to record a short video using the whiteboard, creating a “pitch” presentation of a teaching innovation. We are excited to see the end results and to meet the participants for session 2 next week!