Aha! Moments: Hybrid/Remote Teaching Tips Fall 2020 – Week of Oct. 5

Aha! Moments: Hybrid/Remote Teaching Tips, Fall 2020

This weekly series–a continuation of the CFD summer publication and workshops–will showcase faculty discoveries, strategies, and innovations emerging from HyFlex/remote teaching.

If there is a teaching tip you would like to share, email Mary Balkun, Director of Faculty Development, at <mary.balkun@shu.edu>.

Week of Oct. 5

Martha Zornow, English Department

I teach remotely using Collaborate. I have had good luck with having students respond to a text in a Journal or Discussion prior to class, putting them into Breakout Groups of 4-5 with a related topic, “circulating” through the groups, and then having a representative of each group share back in the Main Room. As a side note, I offer a bit of extra credit for registering to vote, if eligible, or registering another new voter if not eligible.

Margaret Huryk, Undergraduate Nursing Department

I am teaching with remote and hyflex model (18 students remote and 5 students in the classroom).   I just had a great class last night in gerontology for our UG nursing students.  I met with Riad Twal in the morning on creating break out groups with Bb collaborate ultra.  Riad suggested using Teams channels.  It was great.  The students met with another student in a one on one session.  To start I created a pair of students to see how it would work out.  The students enjoyed the experience.  I gave them exercises with each other to practice mental health assessments and creating a teaching plan for an older adult.  As one student said as he was leaving the class: “Wow that class went really fast.”  I considered this a great compliment.  I also use Forms quizzes to test their understanding in real time.  I complete the information that was not covered in class in an Echo lecture that also has a Microsoft Forms quiz so I can answer questions/misconceptions in the next class.  I really feel encouraged after this class.

Eric Johnston, Undergraduate Theology Department

This is more of an appreciation or affirmation than a strategy. I’ve had a couple really awful tech days. On the first day of Hybrid, we were forty-five minutes into one of my classes, with two tech guys trying to make the system work for me, my class time devoted to discussion thus far thwarted, and I felt so discouraged: “Why are we even bothering to try to have students in class,” I thought to myself. Then I looked up, and it was just a joy to be in the same room with students. In the next class, one of my majors joked, “Dr. Johnston, no offense, but I am so sick of seeing your face on my screen!” In other words, boy is it great to be in the same room. Since then, many of my students have asked if they could come on both A and B days, just because they like to be in the classroom. I’m still struggling with some of the technology, but when I feel frustrated, I just come back to this affirmation: what a joy to be in a classroom together!


Microsoft has just released the video spotlight feature. With Spotlight, educators will be able to lock their video for the whole class. This helps educators control the main video feed that a student sees during the meeting. It can only be enabled or disabled by the organizer or presenter. This is different from “Pin participant”, which allows an individual to pin a video feed for their own view but not for the view of all meeting participants.

A video guide is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b39D1rfxXc&feature=youtu.be


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