The University of Edinburgh is transitioning to hybrid learning this year. This means some classes will be in-person; other classes will be digital and live (synchronous); and others digtial and pre-recorded. In this post, we give some tips on how to prepare for this.
- Check your timetable when it is released. Which of your classes will be digital and which in-person? If you have an in-person class and then a synchronous (live) digital one shortly after, where will you go to access it?
- Find out the technical requirements for your course. If it is a digital class, read your handbook to find out what software will be used for teaching activities (e.g. Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, Zoom). Information Services have guides on these applications here. Be sure to access the software before teaching starts to familiarise yourself with it. You may need to download software to your computer that you did not need when you had full access to the library. For example, do you need to install a statistical package, like STATA, to study?
- Minimise your reliance on WiFi. It is easy to keep accessing all of your readings, coursework and lectures online. Until it is not. When your WiFi crashes, you may have to go hours without being able to study the things you want to. So, make sure that you download any necessary material so you can access it offline in case you experience internet problems.
- Develop a study plan. With more online learning than before, you will need to be more disciplined. Allocate time to various activities to make sure you get them done and factor in time for breaks: reading from a computer screen for long periods of time causes loss of focus, so it is unproductive to study for hours on end. Check out the Study Hub Time management page for tips and strategies.
- Find a peaceful place to study. Negotiate with whoever you are living with times that you will need quiet to get on with work. Similarly, be respectful during their study times. If possible, try to separate your study and leisure areas. When you are studying, eliminate distractions from social media.
- Ask your for help if you hit a wall. We all struggle with course material from time to time, and you can only make the most of your learning by asking for clarification on the things you are stuck on. Find out who to ask (e.g. a lecturer) and how. Your course handbook or LEARN page may detail whether it is best to do this by email or e-meeting through something like Skype.
- Participate in class. Discussion, whether digital or in-person, is an important part of helping us to see new perspectives, critique our own knowledge and ideas and become more confident individuals. So be sure to get involved in all your classes and think about setting virtual study groups up with other students to go over work from classes. This may make learning feel less isolating, and more enjoyable, in the context of hybrid learning.
Further resources are available on the Study Hub Learning resources Hybrid learning and teaching page.