Didactics & Scenarios

Hybrid Teaching

Scenario A ~ present | for large groups

Further Scenario B ~ interactive

What is the Setting for Scenario A?

The simplest form of scenario A is shown here: Only the audio/video/presentation of the instructor is broadcasted online, the online participating students only communicate via Chat
The simplest form of scenario A is shown here: Only the audio/video/presentation of the instructor is broadcasted online, the online participating students only communicate via Chat
  • During the lecture, one part of the students is on site in the lecture hall.
  • The other part takes part online via live stream (e.g., via webcast function via Panopto ) or viaweb conference .
  • The focus is to broadcast audio/video/presentation of the instructor online.
  • Here, direct verbal exchange between on-site and online participating students takes place only to a limited extent.
  • The degree of interaction is rather low.

Suitable for courses with a primarily presentational structure and most manageable for large groups.

Choosing the Right Technology

This depends on two essential questions:

  • What do you want to do?
    Simply broadcast your audio & video online? Do you also want the spoken contributions of both the students present on site and those participating online to be mutually audible? Do you primarily use the board or rather slide presentations?
  • What room equipment do you have available on site?
    Is there microphones (one/more) on site in the lecture hall? Is there a lecture hall frequency? Is it a large lecture hall where you must also be audible over the room's loudspeakers? What connections are available?

Based on these considerations, we have put together the following overview with very specific technology setups for you:

At a glance: Technical options for hybrid teaching at the TU Darmstadt (opens in new tab) (Information in German)

The overview includes:

  • a matrix that shows when which setup is suitable,
  • short profiles for each setup which tells you what the setup consists of and where you can get the technology for it.

The compilation of the concrete technology is based on which technology components are available, for example, on loan from the TU Darmstadt, as well as technology products that we have been able to test. – Of course, there are also alternative products to these on the market.

Do you have further questions about the setups? – Feel free to contact us: . We can try out the technology with you and think it through concretely for your setting together.

Decision matrix (in German): When is which setup suitable? – Click on the image for the complete overview as PDF (incl. profiles for setups).
Decision matrix (in German): When is which setup suitable? – Click on the image for the complete overview as PDF (incl. profiles for setups).
When is a Panopto webcast suitable? When is a Zoom web conference suitable?
  • If the focus is on holding a classic lecture that is to be recorded in high quality video (e.g., when blackboard writing or very detailed slides are used).
    • Students should have the opportunity to follow the lecture live (on-site and online) and/or watch it as a recording.
    • It is NOT designed to make the event interactive or to answer questions ad hoc.
  • When the number of online participants is too large for the web conferencing system.
  • As long as any form of interaction is envisaged, i.e., students can ask questions live, either via chat or request to speak
What should you know about the Panopto webcast? What should you know about the Zoom web conference?
  • The live stream is automatically recorded during a Panopto webcast and is directly available online on the Panopto platform after completion.
  • The live stream can demand a lot of computing capacity from the laptop running the webcast. A stable Internet connection (preferably via LAN) is also recommended.
  • No spoken exchange is possible between online participants and on-site participants (teacher & students).
  • Exclusively suitable for the simplest form of scenario A: only online transmission of video/sound (+ presentation) lecturer and feedback from online participants via chat.
  • As a “question channel,” students participating online can use the “discussion” function in the Panopto player, or you can provide your students with another chat tool in parallel for this purpose.
  • HOWEVER: a good handling of queries from online participants is only possible to a limited extent, because:
    • On the one hand, there is a time delay of about 40 seconds between sending and receiving a webcast. This makes it difficult to ask and answer questions ad hoc.
    • On the other hand, a chat running in parallel on the presentation laptop is difficult to see when a webcast is in progress.
    • Targeted question slots could help here: deliberately build in several input breaks and only in these can questions be asked.
  • The number of participants for a Zoom meeting is limited to 300 for the TU campus licence. If you need a separate licence for more participants, please contact the HRZ Service.
  • The transmission and recording quality of a Zoom meeting is worse than that of a Panopto webcast.

Instructions (in German)

Image and sound of lecturer only are transmitted online (can be implemented with setup 1, 2, 3 – see overview above)
Image and sound of lecturer only are transmitted online (can be implemented with setup 1, 2, 3 – see overview above)

If you choose the technically simplest setting: online transmission of video and audio only from the instructor & online participants participate only via chat.

  • The instructor should repeat all contributions of the students before reacting to them (no matter if they come in via chat or on site in the lecture hall) so that the other group can hear them.
  • The fact that the two groups cannot hear or see each other makes it difficult to develop a sense of cohesiveness. Online participants in particular may feel isolated. Only the students participating on site have a “lecture hall feeling” here. Thus, the instructor should try a rotation principle so that all students have the opportunity to be on site in the lecture hall at some point during the semester.
The speeches of those present on site are also transmitted online (can be implemented with Setup 1, 2 – see overview above).
The speeches of those present on site are also transmitted online (can be implemented with Setup 1, 2 – see overview above).

If you use additional microphones to transmit the spoken contributions of those present on site to the web conference.

  • Check the current hygiene regulations regarding the passing on of the microphone!
  • To avoid walking around the room to pass on the microphone, you could try a wireless microphone. This is possible when using the “Hollyland Funkset Duo” (see setup 2 in the overview above), in which the 2nd microphone tranmitter is put into a dry unused sponge. An alternative could be, for example, the “Catchbox” wireless microphone.
  • If you want to record the class:
    • Obtain the students' consent to include their requests to speak in the recording.
    • Alternative 1: cut out what they say and replace it with text overlays in the recording.
    • Alternative 2: if students do not want it to be recorded, arrange with them that they say shortly before you start to speak. In this case, you will have to repeat the contribution and edit out what the student says later.
Not only sound, but also images of those present on site are transmitted online (can be implemented with Setup 2 – see overview above).
Not only sound, but also images of those present on site are transmitted online (can be implemented with Setup 2 – see overview above).

If you also transfer the video image of the students present on site to the web conference.

  • Discuss this with your students beforehand in terms of the advantage of being able to see each other. (In case of a recording, consent is required in any case!).
  • Set up the camera in the room in a way that there are also areas that are not covered by it so that students who do not want to be visible on the video image can sit there.
  • In the spirit of the principle of equality, you should also ask the students participating online to turn on their camera when they speak or at least to store a profile picture in the web conferencing system. The video tiles of the “onliners” should then ideally also be shown in the room via the projector.
  • This variant can be the most elaborate, but is most likely to provide a certain “lecture hall feeling” for both groups of students.

In principle, this is a setting that we would almost consider an interactive “Scenario B.” Therefore, feel free to take a look at our furtherreflections on scenario B .

Picture: E-Learning Arbeitsgruppe

Best Practice for Blackboard Lecture Online Live from the Lecture Hall

In this video contribution “Uni-Feeling digital: Live from the lecture hall” from the series “Blitzlichter digitaler Lehre,” Prof. Burkhard Kümmerer and Dr. Judith Schilling present how they broadcast a blackboard lecture live from the lecture hall online in the online semester and succeeded in an interactive exchange with the students at the same time. This setting could be implemented as a hybrid course.

Learn more

Didactical Considerations for Scenario A

Please also take a look at the didactical considerations for scenario B . You will find further useful tips there – how to make your class more interactive.

  • The “question channel” for online-participating students must not be forgotten!
  • Either the teacher has an eye on the chat or there is an assistant on site, there must someone to monitor the questions in the chat.
  • Questions should not be answered textually in the chat but verbally by the teacher, so that ALL students can hear the questions and their questions (unless it concerns technical-organizational questions, which are clearly only relevant to the online-participating students).
  • If there are questions or contributions on site, the instructor should notify it in advance (“now comes a question,” or similar things); otherwise, the online participants will be surprised by the instructor's sudden pauses in speaking.
    General tip: ideally, the instructor should comment on everything happened on site. Unless there is a second camera in the room (ideally set up at the back of the room for legal reasons), which the online participants can use to follow what is happening on site.

Recommendation: delibrately build in question slots

In these slots, you can answer the questions in chat, and the students present on site can ask their questions during this time as well.

It is crucial to communicate clearly with the students beforehand on how you want to approach this. (Do you only check the chat during the slots and take into account messages on site? How should “emergency messages” be possible in between?)

Positive side effects:

  • There can be learning-promoting pauses for the students to “gather their thoughts” while you briefly look at the questions in chat (if no assistance is available).
  • Your course will be more structured, which in turn will help with the students' attention and orientation.
  • For you, the teaching will be simplified: you can fully concentrate on your presentation during the input phrases in between. During the question slots, you can put the web conference view (incl. chat & if necessary, video tiles) on the projector and concentrate on repeating all the spoken contributions/questions.

For online participants

  • If you are using multiple video sources (e.g., camera image board, additional speaker video, additional room camera) or switching between board writing and slide presentations:
    • label the video source in Zoom accordingly (e.g., “room camera” and not Max Mustermann).
    • introduce the various video sources, and what should be shown about them.
    • show your student how a video image can be pinned in Zoom to see it in full view.
    • comment on changes, drawing focus to the relevant video source (e.g., now I am going to switch to the board, and you can zoom in again.")
    • practice this briefly with your students in the beginning of the class.
  • Communicate clearly how you want to deal with the chat in the web conference (Will it be followed by you or or an assistant all the time or only in certain time slots? Can/Do questions need to be asked via chat?

For on-site participants

  • When there are other end devices in the room apart from the speaker's laptop, via which the audio is transmitted to the web conference and which are also logged into the Zoom meeting, make sure that they are NOT connected to their computer audio! (Either do not connect the computer audio at all when entering the Zoom meeting or select the setting “leave computer audio” at the microphone button later). Otherwise, very unpleasant noises (so-called “echoes”) can occur.
  • Communicate clearly how you want to use the camera and microphone on-site. (Do you plan that those present on-site will also be transmitted online via sound, and, if necessary, video images? and so on.)
  • The diverse use of the live voting system offers a good activation opportunity for ALL.
  • The more interaction options are used and a technically more elaborate setting is necessary for this (e.g., more microphones, more online tools), the smoother the transition to thescenario B .

Example of a more interactive but also more elaborate setting:

incorporate small group work phases as part of the Think-Pair-Share (opens in new tab) or Peer Instruction methods.

  • You can organize the small groups simultaneously online via breakout rooms in the web conferencing system and on-site in the classic way by connecting the students sitting next to each other.
    • For this activity, it is recommended to hire an assistant who takes care of the online participants and the administration of the breakout rooms. The instructor takes care of the students on site.
    • Likewise, the small groups on site should obey the current distance rules!
  • For any subsequent consolidation in plenary, at least one additional microphone should be available on site for the small groups' contributions to the floor. (Observe the current hygiene regulations regarding passing on the microphone).
  • Ideally, on-site and online participating students should be able to see each other during the plenary phase. For this, the on-site students must be able to see the video tiles of the online participants in the web conferencing system via projector, and the online participating students must be able to see a video image of the entire room.
  • If the results of the small group are to be salved, e.g., in the Etherpad , each small group would have to have access to at least one laptop on site.
    Attention: If these additional laptops are also logged into the web conference, the computer audio from them must not be connected! Otherwise, unpleasant noise may occur (so-called “echo effects”).