Mixed Mode Teaching – Cheat Sheet Scenario 2

What is mixed mode teaching

Mixed mode teaching is not a new concept and although not widespread it has been the reality in a range of institutions simply because there was the need to accommodate both students on campus with students online without necessarily separating them into special classes/tutorials. In 2018 I visited Macquarie University to learn first-hand how they combined live (face to face) lectures with remote (off campus students) simply to resolve the issue of accommodating large cohorts of students (over 1000). Covid19 has made this mode of teaching come to the fore as many institutions around the world grapple with the issue of keeping social distance during classroom activities and/or providing different ways for students to access education depending on their situation or the situation of the institution they study with. In examining the possible organization and delivery of mixed mode in a Covid19 situation it is important to understand that while there will be a tendency to focus on the technologies and support needed to ensure a good outcome for such a type of delivery, it will be equally important to observe and maintain social distancing and safety guidelines that will be more difficult to understand and manage.

Just to give you an idea of a possible mixed-teaching room arrangements see the 360 image link below

Visit a mixed-mode teaching room

Mixed Mode – Scenario 2

Before describing a possible delivery of mixed mode for the scenario of this cheat sheet let’s look at some basic understanding of some aspects of delivering a mixed mode course:

Why mixed mode?

Scenario 2 – small to medium tutorial seminar –between 15 to 40 students, on-campus facility for a group of 10 to 20 with the rest to participate remotely. The tech will comprise of a computer with mic and camera that would allow you to zoom broadcast (or similar) to remote students. It will also assume that all on-campus students will bring a laptop or other device to participate in activities with remote students (since it is an interactive seminar).

Similarly to the larger seminar/class scenario (scenario 1 put link here) The tutorial will be conducted using Zoom,using  Zoom tools like chat and polls for interaction as well as Socrative or Polleverywhere and/or Padlet, ECHO Active Learning or shareable whiteboards (like this one for example). The room will need to be equipped with a good camera and microphone that can capture the entire room and a big screen.

Cleaning and hygiene protocols will have to be incorporated in the planning (time to clean and set up beginning and end and who will be doing it)

Differently from the larger seminar a smaller room can be used but there will still be the importance of adhering to social distancing. The same level of planning of engaging with a larger cohort needs to be applied as well as the same level of testing. Just because the group is smaller does not mean that if problems and issues arise these are going to be smaller.

Group Activities

However, with a smaller cohort there is more scope to have different group activities, accommodating both activities that can divide students in the room and those online (each working on their task) and activities mixing on campus and online. This strategy will allow a more engaged and collaborative participation but it is important to ensure that the online students are not always segregated or they will end up feeling left out. So similarly to the large class session from scenario 1, all students (including those on campus) will need to have a laptop or device for the session as well as headset with microphone.

The following are some creative activities that could work for a smaller mixed-mode cohort:

Optimist/pessimist / Forced Debate or Provocation question – divide the class in two groups to take competing parts, in this type of activity you could have the campus students being the optimists or the positive side of the debate or provocation and the online students the other side. In their groups they can discuss and collect the best points to present for the whole class discussion. Each side will elect a speaker/s to report back.

Split the problem/issue – again this is an activity that can be done by dividing the class in groups (depends on the problem or issues) these could be a mix of online and on campus or like the previous one, separate groups. Firstly, each group will be assigned a problem/issue that will have to analysed. Students will write the problem/issue down and discuss (and write) possible solutions (on a sharable space like Padlet, Google docs, etc), time will be limited (5/8 minutes) then the problems/issues are passed around, each group will receive the problem and possible solutions from another team, this time the groups will have to discuss if the solutions presented are valid, any others that could added and choose one or two solutions that could be implemented, how and why, the group will have a written record of the decisions. The whole class then get together to see the complete set of problems and solutions and ranking (voting) for best solution completes the set for this activity.

Reading/lecture topic reactionThe class is divided in four groups each group prepares on a particular part of the reading/s or lecture topic of the week. The first group are the questioners, the people in this group will come up with 3 or 4 questions about the content of the lecture/readings that they would like the others to respond to. The second group are the example givers, these have to take ideas from the readings/lecture and give some examples on how these are applied/explained. The third group are the disagreers, these students need to discuss and come up with one or two disagreeing points of view about some aspects on what was presented and are prepared to defend as an alternative or disagreeing view. The last group are the agreers this group will discuss and present an explanation of points they found helpful or that they agree.  At the end of the divided group session each group will have to present to the others to seek answers, defend explanation, disagreements or agreements.


These are just some techniques to engage students in group activities that can promote collaboration between on campus and remote students.

Preparation and logistic

Same as scenario 1, prepare a detailed plan on what you will do in your session. It might be old school but a lesson plan is a great tool, it is easy to get distracted or off course in this mode of teaching. The multitasking nature of managing both people who are there in person and those who are virtually connected can take time and inject unexpected challenges and having a clear plan, including a plan B is paramount.

Have a test run, with some colleagues as volunteers to try out your plan ahead of your first real session including all the activities and tools you will be using in the real session. Make any changes necessary if you run into issues that are too complex to be resolved well. Ensure that in your dry run you have some technical support available to solve issues or direct you to a more appropriate change. Test everything including your plan B so remember the 3 P principle (Plan, Prepare, Prevent).

Provide information on Wattle on how you will be running your mixed-mode class and what your expectations are.

Please read the tips and information provided in the scenario 1 cheat sheets

Technologies to use

Zoom or ECHO360 Live Stream or a combination of ECHO360 Lecture recording and Zoom, Zoom and Zoom tools like chat and polls for interaction, Socrative or Polleverywhere and/or Padlet, ECHO Active Learning or shareable whiteboards, also explore Hypothes.  But if you need more help the EDS team (shall we add our contacts details for EDS?) Yes can also advise any on other tools and ideas to suit your situation.

Some links that can help you: