Depending upon where you are in the world, you may be back in the office or gearing back up to facilitate in-person classes. Or, you may be getting ready to facilitate hybrid classes – which have a mixture of in-person and online audiences.
In the past, I would have advised you to avoid this situation because the audience experience is so different. Some are in the classroom while others are isolated and separated. Some can easily see the visuals, while others try to view through a screen. However, since the hybrid classroom is becoming a more popular option for many organizations, facilitators should be equipped and prepared.
Here are some tips for successfully facilitating hybrid classes:
- Revise– Review your content and revise activities to accommodate the mixed audience. For example, will some groups write on chart paper while others type in chat? Or will some groups work in remote breakouts while others work together in breakouts?
- Equalize– Do your best to ‘level the playing field’ for all participants. For example, have all participants join by device so that everyone can respond to poll questions. Or ask everyone to be on camera for certain activities, including those in the classroom.
- Normalize– Focus on each participant and what they need to learn. Whether they are online or in front of you, its important to include and invite each person into the learning space. Make eye contact with each person, ask inclusive questions, allow time for remote attendees to respond, and keep your attention on the learners.
One of my favorite techniques for facilitating with hybrid audiences is to create a “buddy” system, to match up each online participant with someone in-person. Ask them to create a communication back-channel so that they can be each other’s eyes and ears throughout the workshop.
What tips would you add?