Even as the world is emerging from the lockdowns and social distancing of the pandemic, things will not return to pre-pandemic normal. Remote learning will likely be replaced by a more flexible hybrid mode of teaching and learning, making the acquisition of its skills both essential and urgent.
In July 2021, the United Board launched an online course titled ‘An Introduction to Hybrid Teaching’, which offers a highly practical approach to designing and teaching hybrid courses. The course focuses on the principles underlying online and offline teachings and lays emphasis on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in a hybrid classroom, student engagement strategies, and provides an overview of technological tools to facilitate hybrid teaching.
In the time since the course’s launch, over 300 educators from across Asia and beyond have participated. Many found it useful for professional development, knowledge expansion, and classroom design. The overwhelming response is spectacular even among the most popular online assets of the United Board. Given its continuing relevance, the United Board is relaunching it for the benefit of a greater number of adult learners, teachers and course designers.
The course comprises four modules and is self-directed which means that participants can complete the course in their own time and at their own pace. The entire course can be completed in one go within three hours and is free, and a certificate of completion will be issued to participants upon completion.
With one exception, all videos in the course are no longer than 3.5 minutes in length and are aided by narration and, in some, animation. The course includes a host of downloadable contents including videos, infographics, and many links for learners to follow up and use the course materials elsewhere.
Assessment is in keeping with the needs and goals of the types of adult learners who may take this course. Each module has a brief, four-question ‘learning check’ and the final assessment is a ten-question quiz which must be passed in order to receive the certificate of course completion.
The course also includes two methods by which participants may interact with each other. First, certain sections have a comments section which allows users to leave comments; second, at the end of each module there are discussion prompts which allow participants to interact, share examples, upload materials for sharing, etc., in a more linear, message-board type of way.
The course is offered by the United Board in collaboration with one of its long-time partners Christ (Deemed to be University), a comprehensive university that offers academic programmes in the humanities, social sciences, science, commerce, management, engineering, education, and law to over 25,000 students across its five campuses in India.
The course was designed and taught by a panel of Christ (Deemed to be University) scholars and experts on online pedagogy, including members of their Teaching Learning Enhancement Cell (TLEC).
The course is accessible at: https://courses.unitedboard.org. Registration is required. Teaching faculty and those looking to broaden their understanding of various teaching and learning modalities in keeping with the times should wait no more.