October 26, 2020

Stommel Comments on Hybrid Instruction

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, Senior Lecturer of Digital Learning

Jesse Stommel, senior lecturer of Digital Studies, was interviewed by Education Dive on how colleges that are offering hybrid instruction this fall can support their students.

Several issues may arise with hybrid classrooms, especially when in-person and remote students are tuning into the same lecture. This structure has the potential to make a virtual student feel like a “fly on the wall,” said Jesse Stommel, a digital learning fellow and senior lecturer at the University of Mary Washington, a public institution in Virginia. 

Although instructors can use technology to boost remote students’ participation, that group’s needs may be different from those of in-person students. Online learners, for example, could be more likely to have a chronic illness or be taking care of someone who is sick, Stommel said. 

“The best thing that institutions can do is make sure that they are creating asynchronous opportunities for learning for those students,” he said. 

Some institutions that only recently announced their fall plans have given instructors little time to prepare for hybrid courses. And others walked back their plans for an in-person fall as the coronavirus is surging throughout many parts of the country. 

“Institutions should have made strong, assertive decisions about what the fall was going to look like so that students and faculty could start planning,” Stommel said. “Most institutions have instead waited until the very last minute to decide what the fall was going to look like.” Read more.