Aha! Moments: Hybrid/Remote Teaching Tips Fall 2020 – Week of Sept. 28

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 Sept. 28

Elizabeth Redwine, English Department

During the writing workshop part of Core English II, I normally walk around the classroom and talk to each student about their papers. This, of course, is now impossible. Yesterday, I texted over Teams with each student both in person and on screen about the status of their paper, their concerns, etc. Some copied and pasted paragraphs that we discussed. When an issue came up that seemed to apply to the class as a whole, I would speak to all of them.

I was concerned about how this would work, but I think it worked well. The students are almost more comfortable sharing their writing concerns in a text-like platform than in person!

Andrea Bartolli, University Core

I would title my HyFlex strategy “Integrated Engagement.’ It assumes that students are constantly moving and in need of adjustment. In this environment, they can do all classes remotely as they see fit. Yet, physical participation in the classroom is encouraged and – somewhat – privileged.

Unfortunately, the Schwartz room where I teach 2 of my 3 classes doesn’t have microphones to allow students in the class to interact with those participating remotely. So, I use a sanitizer and share my mic every time a student needs to speak to the entire class.

All students have access to a shared Word document on OneDrive and to the slides for the class. The shared document allows me to monitor engagement in real-time. Students are listed randomly each class and intervene in that order. They were paired randomly at the beginning of the semester and continue to do activities as pair each class.

Being CORE 2101 a writing-intensive course, students write before, during, and after class. The Writing Center is deeply and actively involved. Next week there will be the class feedback exercise facilitated by student volunteers. Happy to talk more via Teams or phone if you prefer.

McKenna Schray, Communication and the Arts Department

For my communication and public relations courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, I utilize the following features within Microsoft Teams –

  • Gif and Meme function within the chat to allow students to create their visual understanding of topics and theories.
  • Breakout groups to facilitate small-group discussion and debates.
  • Channels to provides students working in team projects a vehicle to successfully complete the project.
  • The chat function for students to “tweet” their biggest takeaway from class. Many of them tag a peer within the chat to further advance engagement.
  • The Polly extension within the chat to facilitate live polling activities.
  • The lobby feature to simplify virtual office hours.


To avoid students joining multiple meetings ensure your course Team and calendar are only showing one meeting. In some cases, faculty created their own class meeting in addition to the automated IT meeting.

If you only hear your remote students through the laptop speakers, check the device settings in Teams by going to the three dots … and click Show Device Settings. Change the selected speaker option to the speakers in the room instead of your laptop speakers. Follow steps #6 and #7 in the HyFlex Guide.

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