Hybrid Teaching

Hybrid teaching is basically a broad term and can mean different scenarios of digital teaching, from blended learning approaches to streaming of on-site events.

At Leuphana, we speak more precisely of hybrid teaching when we mean synchronous teaching units on campus with participants on site and participants connected online via video conference. In a broader sense, these can be events that are similar to streaming and in which the online participants listen more passively. However, in a narrower sense - and this is what this website refers to - we mean courses that promote synchronised interaction between on-site and online participants and are also didactically geared towards allowing both groups to participate equally in the seminar.

This principle results in a variety of interaction options that can vary depending on the course and didactic setting.

Hybrid teaching as a teaching concept

During the coronavirus pandemic in particular, various approaches have been adopted in an attempt to bring students back to campus from online teaching. Various hybrid forms have been tried out on a makeshift basis, which have largely fulfilled their purpose, but are not a long-term solution. A didactic approach abandons these provisional measures and takes hybrid teaching seriously as a teaching concept for the future.

Hybrid teaching, like online teaching, can be applied in different contexts. The most obvious reason why people are connected to a face-to-face event is usually due to external circumstances: Students or teaching staff are prevented from attending due to health, private or professional reasons and are therefore unable to come to campus. In the case of lecturers or continuing education programmes in particular, participants may also live far away or abroad and travelling to campus proves to be difficult and unsustainable.

If we understand hybrid teaching as a concept, we need to think beyond these rather trivial reasons. Is it not also desirable to teach students about hybrid communication channels that have long been established in professional practice during their studies? To create a sensitivity for different life circumstances by teaching in an inclusive and needs-orientated way? And don't they also benefit in terms of content from an exchange with experts or students from other universities and/or disciplines that could not have been realised in an analogue way?

The opportunities to expand your own teaching both professionally and methodologically by combining online and face-to-face teaching are enormous. Think of the almost limitless virtual communication and interaction possibilities and combine these with the social energy of a personal exchange in the seminar room. Hybrid teaching combines the best of both worlds.

This page aims to inform you about the extent to which we at Leuphana want to take hybrid formats to the next level of quality. We can provide some basic tips for lecturers - however, it is advisable to contact the teaching service and seek a solution for the circumstances of your course in a personal exchange, especially before the first hybrid implementation or in the case of special requirements.

Conditions at Leuphana

Leuphana sees itself as a face-to-face university for good reason and wishes to remain so despite the extensive promotion of digital innovations. For this reason, the guidelines for the planning and implementation of courses set out the conditions under which hybrid teaching formats are permitted - certain hybrid parts of a course are therefore subject to application.

Permitted at any time and without authorisation are

     "the addition of a second lecturer as part of team teaching approved by the relevant Dean of Studies Office or of external guests via video conference to face-to-face sessions." (Section 6.1)
     "in BA and MA degree programmes [...] hybrid face-to-face courses [...] for the addition of students from partner universities and the addition of students if a course is made up of groups of students from different (inter)national locations (e.g. as part of cooperations, double degrees, global classrooms)." (Section 6.2)

The following are permitted on application:

     "hybrid face-to-face courses exclusively with Leuphana students for didactic reasons (added didactic value compared to a purely face-to-face programme)". These "must be applied for at the responsible Dean of Studies Office using the application form provided there and submitted to the responsible Dean of Studies Office by the end of the course registration period." (Section 6.2)

Technical basics

When organising hybrid courses, it is important to bear in mind that a certain amount of technical effort is unavoidable. However, as with online events, the additional workload will decrease over the course of the semester as certain routines become established and uncertainties disappear. To avoid frequent sources of error from the very first session, test your setting in advance if possible and/or ask for extra support from the AVM or the teaching service. Depending on the setting, support from a student assistant may also prove useful during the event.

Since you as a teacher - unlike in a purely online event - are usually in the seminar room or lecture theatre, neither a laptop microphone and camera nor laptop loudspeakers are sufficient to transmit sound and images to and from the video conference.

You therefore generally need the following additional components for a hybrid event:


    A microphone for you as the teacher and at least one microphone for the students in attendance to transmit the sound from the seminar room to Zoom. This is usually a microphone set consisting of two transmitters
    Speakers in the event room, usually the rooms at Leuphana are already equipped with speakers


    A camera for lecturers or the person presenting from the front (camera 1)
    Separately, a camera showing the students in the plenary session (camera 2)

Experience has shown that the hybrid setting works best when your presentation laptop is connected to a camera, the microphone set and the speakers. You should also select these three components for Zoom.

An additional laptop with another camera is required if you also want to broadcast the students or the plenary session in Zoom. This is particularly useful for events with a certain degree of interaction, such as seminars or workshops. However, make sure to mute both the microphone and the speakers of the additional laptop to avoid feedback.

This information represents the basic conditions for hybrid settings. Depending on the type of event, group size and didactic requirements, the technology can be expanded in different ways, e.g. with an additional monitor to show the online participants separately from the presentation, making them more visible and better integrated into the course. Please contact us individually if you have special or extended requirements.

Didactic methods

You often intuitively use activating methods in your face-to-face events. These have been proven to promote motivation and therefore sustainable learning. It is also true for hybrid and online teaching that the more the students participate and are involved, the greater the learning success.

So that you as a teacher can concentrate on the technical discussion and interaction, we recommend that you involve the students in the session organisation and assign different roles. For example, students can take on the role of co-moderator, make sure the camera and microphone are set up correctly or observe the chat. This also gives students the opportunity to practise other interdisciplinary skills.

Experience shows that online participants can lose focus during seminars. To prevent this, it is advisable to actively place the online participants at the centre of attention again and again. This will ensure that they do not feel like an accessory or passive listener and that learning together on an equal footing is more likely to be possible. The following interaction methods, for example, have proven effective in hybrid scenarios:

Working collaboratively

Digital tools enable participants to work together efficiently and collaboratively in real time, regardless of their location. With the help of digital whiteboards such as Collaboard, flexible text editors such as Cryptpad or asynchronous exchange tools such as the Moodle forum, online and on-site students can make their contributions simultaneously and on an equal footing. The results and work statuses can be shared in Zoom and on the projector/display on site and are therefore visible to all participants.

Classroom Response Systems

You can use classroom response systems such as Particify to quickly and easily obtain feedback from your students online and on site. In addition, CRS are also suitable for structuring your course or for preparing a discussion in plenary or in groups.

For further information on hybrid didactics, please take a look at the tools available to you at Leuphana and their areas of application in teaching.

Special case: Group work in a hybrid setting

You are already familiar with the breakout room function from digital teaching, which allows you to send online participants to private rooms for a limited time where they can discuss and, if necessary, solve tasks in small groups. In the seminar room, this often works by sitting together and talking quietly to each other.

Hybrid group work with mixed groups consisting of online participants and students on site is usually challenging, as it requires several end devices with open microphones whose audio tracks can overlap in a seminar room. We therefore generally recommend separating pure face-to-face groups on site from pure online groups in breakout rooms.

If, for didactic reasons, you would still like to implement mixed group work, you will need either a larger seminar room or available adjoining rooms, depending on the size of the group, as the mixed groups will sit in front of a laptop at a certain distance from each other and interact with the online participants in a breakout room. Please contact the AVM or the teaching service for alternative or extended technical solutions if required.