Nine steps to planning once, and for all students
This summary guide suggests some ways that hybrid learning can be set up so that teachers plan once, and for all students. At the end of this guide, we also provide links to spotlights in which schools describe how they were able to provide seamless hybrid learning without increasing teacher workload.
Before you begin, you may wish to check out our guide: Seven actions necessary for getting started with hybrid learning to make sure you are ready to proceed.
Now, here’s how you plan once, and for all students in nine steps that teachers know how to do.
1. Identify next learning steps
As you would normally do, use learning progressions and what you know about the students to identify their next step learning needs. Choose areas for focus, appropriate learning intentions and success criteria (or, even better, these might be co-constructed with the learners). Think about the range of needs of your learners (onsite and remote) and plan to use what you know about them to provide learning experiences as you normally would when learning is fully onsite.
In hybrid learning, it becomes even more important for the learning to be at exactly the right level for the students. In determining this, teachers need to take account of the level of support they are able to provide the student while also taking into account the whānau support that remote student might have available.
In hybrid learning, onsite and remote learners will work in more self-directed, asynchronous ways than they would have done in more traditional approaches, so it becomes even more important for the learning to have just the right level of challenge – some challenge but not so much they cannot reach it.
- This guide might help you here: Using information to provide the right supports for remote learners
- Check out this 3 min video about Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development
2. Choose resources
Begin your planning as usual but be aware that you will need to choose resources that can be uploaded to, or made available on your online learning platform. You may need to scan a paper-based resource and upload it, or you may be able to insert a link to a video into a document on the platform.
At this point of gathering resources, you will need to consider students who require a paper-based programme. For example, if you provide a link to a video, you will need to provide a transcription of it or find a paper-based resource that offers the same content. You could use free video/audio transcription software/services to create a transcription. However, these are not always accurate, and you will need to do some editing. Microsoft Online has a very easy to use and pretty accurate transcription capability. Just select the video and it will transcribe it for you in a minute or so. Here is a YouTube clip to help you do this.
If there are important charts or diagrams that are central to making sense of the video transcript, take a screen shot and include it as part of the transcript. You can always search for a YouTube video to help you.
Also, sharing your resources with other teachers and using some of their resources helps to reduce the workload. Keep in touch with your colleagues.
Just remember, you need to upload your resources to your online learning platform and be aware that you will need a paper-based copy for learning from home packs.
3. Design learning experiences to meet the needs of all students
Design the same or similar learning experiences for all students whether remote or onsite. Pay particular attention to the circumstances and contexts of remote learners and make sure they will be able to engage in all learning activities (perhaps with some slight modifications). Consider how you will use:
- flipped learning
- the right balance of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities
- student agency and self-directedness
to enable students to have opportunities to work in independent ways while the teacher pays attention to both onsite and remote learners during the teaching day.
Check out these guide to help you: Five pedagogies at the heart of hybrid learning and The importance of synchronous and asynchronous learning
4. Organise the learning
Using flipped learning and synchronous and asynchronous learning activities, rotations can be an important building block for planning once, and for all students. While some ākonga are working with the teacher or collaboratively with each other, other ākonga will be working on the tasks that have been assigned to them through the personalised learning programme in self-directed ways – making decisions about the order in which they will complete their tasks and perhaps some decisions about how they will complete them and present their learning.
Note: this is not a new way of organising learning. It is what we see in many classrooms every day, even in junior classrooms. That is, students working through tasks that have been carefully assigned to them to meet their needs and teachers pulling out groups of students to work with them for particular purposes. However, with hybrid learning, the rotations will also include check-ins and face-to-face online sessions with remote learners. For learners unable to access online learning, this might be by phone or may have to be via text or email. Putting the phone call on speaker would allow other students to join in the conversation.
5. Provide clear and concise instructions
You will need to think about providing clear and concise instructions for students because many will be accessing the learning online (whether onsite or remote). These could take the form of simple written instructions that accompany the task. Some teachers provide videos of themselves giving the instructions. This is especially helpful when the instructions are a little more complex or there are students who struggle to read text. Students can go back to a video and watch it multiple times if they need to. It may be that a teacher records themselves giving the instructions live to the onsite students. Remember to create a transcript of videos for the paper-based learning programme or provide written instructions as well. Providing resources in several ways may feel like additional work, but it actually supports inclusion and takes account of the learning preferences of students. Some students will want to receive their instructions through a video, but others will simply want to scan some text quickly. This won’t be needed for all resources, but once you have done it, you will have it for the future.
Check out this guide to see an example of clear and concise instructions: ABC – Designing expectations for accessibility, being clear and consistent, and connections
Organise the Learning
Primary School Timetable
|Session||Teacher||Onsite learners||Remote/ online learners||Remote paper-based learners|
|1||Checking in with onsite learners, checking communications from remote students, etc.||Students accessing the learning independently. Getting started: setting up for the day/week.||Students accessing the learning independently. Getting started: setting up for the day/week.||Students accessing the learning independently. Getting started: setting up for the day/week.|
|2||Connecting with remote online learners.||Accessing learning independently.||Connecting with teacher.||Accessing learning independently.|
|3||Connecting with onsite learners.||Connecting with teacher.||Accessing learning independently.||Accessing learning independently.|
|4||Connecting with remote paper-based learning.||Accessing learning independently.||Accessing learning independently.||Connecting with teacher.|
|5||1:1 check-ins with students, supporting project work, responding to learning queries.||Collaborating with peers - project work.||Collaborating with peers - project work.||Collaborating with peers - project work.|
|6||Leading assembly.||All students connect with the teacher - via live streaming or all students on Zoom or phone for an assembly.|
Secondary School Timetable
|Day||Onsite learners||Remote/ online learners||Remote paper-based learners|
|Monday||Accessing learning independently.||Connecting with teacher.||Accessing learning independently.|
|Tuesday||Accessing learning independently.||Accessing learning independently.||Connecting with teacher.|
|Wednesday||Connecting with teacher.||Accessing learning independently/ or live stream into class.||Accessing learning independently.|
|Friday||Collaborate with peers.||Collaborate with peers.||Collaborate with peers where possible.|
6. Develop a simple and consistent online structure for the presentation of materials online
This will include a simple overview so students can see the learning at a glance. One thing that will help students access learning online, is to keep to a simple and consistent structure so that it becomes easily accessible and recognisable. Minimise the number of clicks and provide all the links (and make sure they work!). One school went into lockdown assuming that their students would be able to navigate the complex online environment they had created as a normal part of their learning programme and discovered that while some students could do it independently, others were not actually able to do so when learning on their own. They learned that it was important to keep it simple when students are learning remotely.
Check out this video: Urs Cunningham: Keeping it simple
Transcript for Urs Cunningham, Principal of Amesbury School. Interviewed by Dr Lesley Murrihy, Ministry of Education.
Keeping it Simple.
Dr Lesley Murrihy: Kia ora Urs. Thank you so much for agreeing to share your remote learning stories. Please begin by telling us a little bit about your school and then describe some of the things that you did to support students during the lockdown period.
Kia ora, ko Urs tōku ingoa. We are a decile ten primary school years 1 to 6 in the northern suburbs of Wellington. We got a roll of just about, just over 300 students. We are used to using quite a lot of technology with our students.
Our Year 2 to 4 hub and Year 4 to 6 hub are all one-to-one with Chromebooks. So our students are used to working in a digital environment daily in normal circumstances. So that does stand us in good stead for doing home learning. Whilst our Chromebooks are all school Chromebooks, so they don't usually go home. We did send all of our devices home with students for home learning so that they had devices to work on. Having said that, I think one of the interesting things we found in our first lockdown was that we assumed that our students, particularly our older students, our year four or six students in Pōhutukawa Hub, we assumed that they'd be really quite confident with online learning. We thought they would be absolutely fine accessing Google Classroom, accessing different learning that was sent through to them and going to their particular tasks because that's what they did every day in their, in their normal learning.
But what we hadn't accounted for was how collaborative all learning is at school. So we didn't realize how many of our students obviously took their cues from other students, and they all helped each other, which actually is really great and we're really pleased with. But it wasn't so helpful in lockdown. Because all of a sudden, a lot more of our students than we expected did struggle to move between different aspects of their learning. And so quite quickly, we realized that a really big key focus for us in distance learning was to make sure that we could create one key place where all of the learning would sit for each team. That was easy and simple, simple both for parents and for students to access. So that was our big focus last year, the first time around. Our main, our answer for this was to create a quite simple Google site for each team. And we wanted to make sure that the essence of each site was the same across the teams, so that parents who were trying to move between multiple learning sites didn't have to figure out the intricacies of each different site.
The way that the junior site looked was essentially the same as,as the others. So what we did was have a set of teachers create one template website. Played around with it a little bit until we were happy with it and then said, right, this is the basic format. Now create your team site from here. And so what we've got are three distance learning websites, one for each team and they all, whilst they all have the flavour and personality of each hub, they've been able to do their own little bells and whistles there and the little team things. The actual structure of the three sites are really similar. There's a home page with the key learning pack for each week, a summary of what's going on for the week, and then the different pages for each particular learning area. And I think hopefully, that makes it simple for parents who are having to use multiple sites. We found that those Google sites are fantastic. They are the one-stop shop. All we have to say to all parents is just follow this link, get to this place. Everything you need is, is within here. I think it was a much more purposeful and deliberate process than we thought we'd need originally, but it's really worked. And what has also been really beneficial that was not expected was that the students, our older students in our year 4 to 6 hub, they liked the distance learning website so much in level three. When some of our students came back on site and the bubble, teachers were trying to teach them face-to-face. They were like, no, no, I just want to go to the distance learning site and access it in exactly my way and go back to learning that I think I need to and replay things. They actually really liked that. So that has now become it's not a distance learning site anymore for those students. It is simply their Pōhutukawa learning site. It was kept on after the lockdown last year and they now use it daily. They've used it for over a year so that when we went into lockdown this time, it was a really smooth transition because they were just carrying on using what they've always learned. So that was what they've always used.
But it was good to find out, the teams to find out, what is working and what is it, what's hard for you to access and what isn't. I know based on that, that one of our hubs made sure that our passport cards were all up to date and working well for our youngest students because they move between a number of different learning sites. They use IXL, they use Teach your monster to read, they use Epic. And all of these things need to code or log in. And obviously, that's really hard for young children to remember. And so each child now has a passport card, which is simply a Google doc and it just has all the key things here is Sunshine Classics, here is your IXL, it's all on one card. We have copies of this in the classroom, but most importantly, your parents have a copy at home and they know that it exists. If you lose the copy, they can always just ask for another one. I think more and more we just realised things needed to be gathered together in one place. Simply because you just forget as you go along, you keep adding more and more on, which seems great when you are just in normal learning and their teacher is there who know how it all works. But when you suddenly try and pass this on to a parent who doesn't know how it all works, you realize how many different moving parts there are. And that's it's really tricky for, for people to keep hold of all that.
So passport card, learning site, just trying to gather and collate these key things.
Dr Lesley Murrihy:
Well Urs, thank you so much for sharing that with us. I'm sure that will be incredibly helpful to teachers all around New Zealand. Ngā mihi nui, ki a koe.
Keeping it simple
An interview with Urs Cunningham, Principal of Amesbury School.
7. Provide a weekly checklist
Provide a weekly overview and checklist for students to record where they are at in their week’s learning and upload. This should not only record whether they are finished or not, but should allow students to be able to record where they are at in the process e.g., not started, on the way, mostly completed, completed (or similar). This will help them to make better decision about what they need to do next and will support those students who struggle with executive functioning – self organisation etc.
8. Monitoring engagement, progress through tasks, and completion of tasks
Develop and upload simple but robust systems for monitoring engagement, progress through tasks and completion of tasks. When working in this way, with increased self-directed and independent learning, it becomes particularly important for teachers to monitor engagement and completion more aggressively whether students are learning onsite or remotely. However, given that you can see students who are onsite and quickly check in with them, it becomes more of a priority to invest time into monitoring the engagement of students who are learning remotely.
9. Catering for paper-based learning
The learning programme is now available online for access by both onsite or remote learners. If you have students who require a paper-based version of the programme, download and print off the resources, instructions and overview checklist as well as screenshots of any online screens that will be helpful to students who need a paper-based programme. This is an additional step but will not be too onerous if you have been thinking about the students who require a paper-based learning programme while developing the resources and uploading them.
An advantage of having the learning programme online, is that if the teacher is working remotely then the learning resources will be easily accessible by a staff member at the school to print off and distribute according to their school’s distribution plan.
The nine steps to planning once, and for all students
|1||Identify students' next learning steps and contexts for learning.|
|2||Choose resources that can be made available on your online learning platform.|
|3||Design learning experiences to meet the needs of students - taking account of remote learners.|
|4||Organise learning - create a timetable/rotation of learning connections, check-ins, etc.|
|5||Develop clear and concise instructions for students.|
|6||Upload all the learning resources onto the platform using a consistent and easy-to-follow structure.|
|7||Provide a weekly checklist for students.|
|8||Monitor engagement and progress.|
|9||Cater for paper-based learning - download, print, and deliver learning packs.|
There you have it, 9 steps to planning once, and for all students without increasing teachers’ workloads, and not an unfamiliar action in the list!
All the best as you make hybrid learning sustainable.
Check out these two spotlights to find out how these schools ensured seamless hybrid learning without increasing teacher workload: