An example of inclusive and flexible small group teaching
Group size: 4-10 students
Teaching type: Inclusive and flexible small group teaching
Division: Social Sciences
Subject: Teaching Training
Tools: Microsoft Teams
The MSc for Learning and Teaching has been adapted from blended learning to a hybrid approach to deliver content. This differs from blended learning in that it aims to teach remote and face-to-face students together in the same classroom; blended learning relies more heavily on asynchronous online tasks.
The MSc cohort consists of around ten students. It is envisaged that the split will be roughly 50/50 between Oxford-based and International students. Students attend lectures and corresponding follow-up sessions. The live lecture is watched synchronously wherever possible (although it is recorded for those who can’t attend). To accommodate students in all time zones, a weekly session is held at 5pm and repeated at 8am the following morning. Communication in sessions takes place in small groups in Teams.
In current times where social distancing has become the norm, the hybrid approach is an effective way of benefitting both face-to-face and remote cohorts. As a delivery tool, Microsoft Teams is very accessible and intuitive and is also constantly improving: from only being able to see four people on screen, to the current 49 that is now possible. Teams is also supported by the university which is in large part why it was chosen over other systems.
Repeating sessions to accommodate for time zones is labour intensive. Creating breakout rooms in Teams is possible but involves a fiddly workaround. A breakout room facility is planned soon for Teams which will be a welcome inclusion.