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Synchronous hybrid education

In 2022 KU Leuven offered the first run of the course on Synchronous Hybrid Education. This course propels you to different learning environments with simultaneous online and F2F-presence.  We tackle the concept of hybrid learning & teaching, discuss student engagement in this context, and help you understand the spatial and technological needs. Our principal aim is to enable you to make informed decisions on how to merge the social component and the learning objectives & activities with an increased desire for flexibility.

The Synchronous Hybrid Learning & Teaching Course has been delivered by staff members involved in KU Leuven Learning Lab and was based on research and experiences before and during Covid. The course included active contributions of its ITEC, an imec research group within KU Leuven which has gained European and worldwide acclaim with its’ research on Synchronous Hybrid Education (e.g. 2020 Best Paper award with ‘A systematic literature review on synchronous hybrid learning: gaps identified’ by the SIG-Learning Environments Awards Committee. See:

By the end of the course you will be able to: 

  • Design, develop, and offer a synchronous hybrid course, incorporating best practices, experiences, and learning theories.
  • Make informed decisions on how to merge the social component and the learning objectives & activities with an increased desire for flexibility.
  • Understand how students and teachers act in this learning environment, but also how hybrid choices affect programs and policy.

The course will cover different themes in 6 modules each representing a five-hour study load, including the respective synchronous hybrid moments (approx. 2 hours per moment).

Who should take this course? 

This course is designed for anyone involved in digital campus course and curriculum development and for leaders steering this process, encouraging or promoting hybrid Synchronous teaching and learning. 

Course overview

Conceptual challenges: Defining Terminology: Synchronous Hybrid Learning & Teaching

Hybrid finds its peers in such terms as blended, hyflex, comodal, synchronous and online teaching/learning which doesn’t make for a clear understanding but rather spikes misconceptions and confusion. This module will define a sound meaning for synchronous hybrid learning & teaching as a starting point for this course. We also discuss its added value to your course design and the differences with a traditional face-to-face setting. 

Pedagogical challenges: Student Engagement in a Hybrid Setting

You learn why engagement matters, especially in the context of synchronous hybrid learning and how to generate it through different modes of interactivity. 

Unravelling the complexity of effective hybrid learning environments

Using the ACAD Framework this module delves into the social space that learning requires in a synchronous hybrid learning context. How can you influence this in your behavior and teaching? How to work on a sense of belonging in respect to the remote and on campus participants? How come some learners tend not to actively participate? 

Technological challenges: Learning & Teaching Space: Toolset Perspectives

Interface is key in this module. Synchronous hybrid learning & teaching questions resources, both technical and spatial. Together we critically compare some set designs and how learning spaces influence teaching and learning. 

Effective Scenarios/Protocols in a Hybrid Setting

This module offers several scenario’s and good practices of synchronous hybrid learning & teaching. In these scenarios we focus on their design, the alignment of activities and objectives. Learn from the practice of peers and get inspired. 

Workshop Synchronous Hybrid Learning

Whatever the future spells or the present dictates, it’s a good idea to practice creating your bespoke setup for a synchronous hybrid learning & teaching context. This workshop has you (re)design a course of your own using the previous modules. 

How to re-run the course in your own context?

The course resources, additional supportive documents and user guidelines are available on this page and and aim to support teaching staff, learners involved in course and curriculum development, and leaders who direct these processes in higher education in reusing the course (resources) in other contexts.

Get access to the course contents and course export package

The course resources including presentations, supportive documents, and tasks for students are available on Zenodo. With this information and documents, you can set up a re-run of the course.

We also made an asynchronous learning path. This can be used by students/learners who can not make it to the synchronous sessions

For Researchers: Learn from literature research into hybrid synchronous learning during Covid-times

An initial literature review was conducted on hybrid synchronous learning during COVID times, resulting in guidelines for support for emergency educational shifts.

For support staff and educators: Compendium of selected best practice training materials and/or resources for CPD for hybrid synchronous teaching and learning

The Digitel Pro report IOA2 lists a selection of existing best practice training materials and resources for continuous professional development for COVID 19-proof teaching and learning in the partnership. We also specify how KU Leuven Learning Lab works as a network for Continuous Professional Development within our University.  

In different categories resources are listed and each resource contains a description of the resource (what is it) and of the value of the resource for Covid 19-proof teaching (how can it be used).