- Support and training for teaching staff
- Rooms set up for blended synchronous learning delivery
- Planning for blended synchronous learning
- Presenting to both cohorts
- Student in-class collaboration
- Student presentations
- Blended synchronous learning and recording
- Advanced tips
Blended synchronous learning (BSL) refers to a modality where the same learning activities are experienced by students on-campus and remote students within a single group and at the same time. For example, a seminar where some students are present in a physical teaching space on-campus, while others join in remotely via Zoom or another conferencing tool.
BSL activities offer the campus-based and remote students a simultaneous learning experience.
Support and training for teaching staff
Professional development for BSL teaching staff
Teaching teams using BSL-enabled spaces are strongly encouraged to make use of the various professional development, technical training and self-service resources available. Feedback from early adopters of BSL highlighted the learning curve for teaching staff, and the great utility of the below supports and resources in helping BSL teaching teams to adapt to this new modality.
BSL 101 & Q&A training sessions
Join learning designers and technical experts for this introduction to BSL, including approaches to designing activities for BSL sessions, how to use the control panel and camera pre-sets, and tips to effectively bring together the “Zoomies” (remote students) and the “Roomies” (in-class students). There will be time for questions at the end of each session.
Attend via Zoom - registration is essential!
Check our workshop schedule for upcoming sessions.
MCSHE professional development offerings
MCSHE is offering a range of BSL and dual delivery professional development workshops for academic staff. See the full schedule of workshops and events.
Technical training for BSL teaching staff
BSL room inductions for each BSL subject's teaching team
Field Services will email each BSL subject coordinator 2-3 weeks out from their BSL teaching to schedule an induction for the whole teaching team in the BSL-enabled room they’re timetabled into.
If you’re a subject coordinator who is already less than two weeks away from teaching a BSL session and you haven’t heard from Field Services, you can log a request in Service Now, noting the subject code and the space you’re timetabled into.
Side-by-side, in-room technical support
Following the room inductions, Field Service agents will be available as roaming support for quick response on request to support you through the first few BSL classes to provide you with in-room technical advice and support.
The Field Services agent is not present to moderate Zoom chats or take the role of teaching assistant.
Top up technical support
If additional side-by-side, in-room support or room inductions are required (for instance, if a guest lecturer is running a BSL activity and they missed the initial training and induction), top up support from Field Services may be requested via Service Now.
|Guide title||Description||View guide|
|Video guide - Learning and teaching advice for BSL sessions||This recording takes you through different strategies and considerations when teaching a BSL subject at the University of Melbourne.||Go|
|Video guide - Introduction to technology use in BSL-enabled spaces||This webinar covers tips and tricks on how to use the technology in a BSL enabled space to successfully run your BSL session.||Go|
This page was last updated on 29 Jul 2021.
Please report any errors on this page to our website maintainers
Rooms set up for blended synchronous learning delivery
|Building number||Building name||Rooms|
|104||Alan Gilbert||G01-G03 , 101, 102, 103*, 123*, 124*|
|105||Business and Economics||206|
|106||Law||202-203, 224*, 317*, 605*, 630*|
|110||The Spot||4024, 5013, 5015, 6015|
|133||Glyn Davis||144, 146|
|148||Arts West||253, 256, 356, 453, 456|
|149||Old Arts||103*, 155*, 156*, 204*, 254*|
|173||Old Engineering||EDS2, EDS1*|
|174||Engineering C block||C428|
|175||Engineering D block||D207|
|194||Food and Nutrition||121, 122|
|220||780 Elisabeth St||110, 102*|
|263||Kwong Lee Dow||409, 416, 417, 419, 420, 421|
|861||VCA- Southbank- Film and Television||Producers Room (110), Rushes 1 (228), Studio 3 (153)|
* Under construction June-July 2021
This page was last updated on 22 Jul 2021.
Please report any errors on this page to our website maintainers
Planning for blended synchronous learning
To facilitate BSL, technology can be used to offer an equitable experience to both campus-based and remote students. The University is upgrading a number of teaching spaces to help staff achieve effective BSL. The central timetabling team will endeavour to prioritise classes that have been nominated as BSL mode into suitably equipped spaces.
In most small-size classes the learning activities and the technology can be managed by one teaching staff member. However, in larger-size classes it is beneficial to have a more than one member of staff so that the contributions and activities of remote students can be supervised and teaching roles can be distributed. Academic divisions have been provided guidance on appropriate additional teaching assistance for these scenarios and subject coordinators should refer any questions to their senior colleagues responsible for teaching and learning in their faculty or graduate school.
In planning your blended synchronous classes you should consider:
- What activities can best be achieved pre- and post-class; it may be possible to ‘flip’ content delivery and focus upon interaction and collaboration during class time (e.g. any demonstrations could be pre-recorded and reused in the future).
- Taking a 'remote students first' approach by designing activities with remote students as your primary target – if these activities work for remote students, they are also likely to work for campus-based students.
- What level of connectivity and device access your students have. It is useful to carefully consider and be explicit with your students about the minimum technology that is required for your students to access and engage in your learning activities.
- Keeping your campus-based and remote interactions as simple as possible, without requiring specialist software or high bandwidth connectivity.
- Using the LMS as the core technology that links you to your remote and campus-based students.
- That students may be studying in multiple time zones and this may impact on their access and engagement in class. Timetabling won’t necessarily be able to take account of time zones and hence, you should make sure remote students in significantly different time zones are aware of the implications.
Presenting to both cohorts
The University is investing in upgrades to a range of teaching spaces across our main campuses to provide suitable classroom technology to support BSL. These upgrades include:
- The provision of additional screens (where necessary) to show the remote students in the class who are attending via Zoom or other conferencing tools while still providing screens for presentational material.
- Installation of additional cameras that are connected to the conferencing computer so that remote students can see both the teacher and the class via the conferencing platform.
- Upgrades to the control systems so that teaching staff can both project and send presentations and other material to allow campus-based and remote students to see that material.
- Expansion of the audio systems to allow for roving microphones for campus-based students and a remote audio channel into the teaching room for remote students so that each group can hear the other.
When material is presented in a campus-based class through staff presentation, this may be done 'live' using presentation slides or may utilise a piece of pre-recorded content. In these situations, students may be interested in – and should be encouraged to – ask questions or seek clarification about the material.
While different classrooms will have different technical capabilities and facilities, in these circumstances it is important to consider your remote learners by:
- Sharing your slides on Zoom with remote learners and on an in-class screen for your face-to-face students
- Asking remote students to react in Zoom to confirm they can hear you and see the material.
- Asking remote learners to mute their own microphones unless they want to ask a question.
- Ensuring you are close to the microphone at all times so remote students can hear you.
- Ask campus-based students to use the roving mics to 'broadcast' their questions to the remote students, or make sure that you repeat the question for the benefit of remote students.
Student in-class collaboration
In the case of collaborative learning - for example, students forming small groups to investigate a case or solve a problem - you will need to consider how these groups will be formed and how they will function. There are two common options:
Collaborative learning activities are divided up so that campus-based students form groups independently of remote students. Synchronous group of remote students can be facilitated by Zoom breakout rooms, followed by reporting back in the classroom via the main Zoom session on a main screen.
It is important to consider the appropriateness of your chosen collaborative activity to ensure that remote students able to complete the same group activity as campus-based students. Or perhaps it may be useful to design a different but equivalent learning activity.
It is possible to mix campus-based and remote cohorts for collaborative learning activities, but this is complex technologically and pedagogically, is difficult with even relatively small groups of students, and we do not recommend you design activities this way. If you are planning activities involving groups made up of both remote and campus-based students, then all students will need to have access to a personal device (computer or mobile) to connect to Zoom and headphones are necessary for all participants.
It is possible to actively involve remote students in the class activities such as student presentations. Campus-based students can present in class and remote students can present via Zoom to a screen in class. In these situations consider:
- Using a digital live polling platform to get feedback from both face-to-face and remote students e.g. Poll Everywhere or Zoom Polls.
- Establishing a live moderated text back channel using Yammer or Microsoft Teams through which remote students can ask questions and make comments – you could assign a campus-based student or tutor to monitor the back channel and relay questions and comments or respond live.
Blended synchronous learning and recording
BSL sessions can be recorded via Zoom. This method captures all the channels within the Zoom session i.e. remote students, classroom activities and cameras. Read instructions on setting this up. Because staff will log onto Zoom in the teaching space using their own credentials, the Zoom settings are inherited from the individual’s own account. Following the instructions above, it is recommended that the BSL session Zoom recording be saved to the University’s cloud storage through the appropriate setting in the Zoom account. This will ensure the recording is securely stored. A link and associated password will be emailed to the staff member. .
For the best student experience and control over the content, it is advised to download the recording, upload it to Echo360/Lecture Capture and make available through the LMS. Alternatively, a link to the Zoom recording can posted to the LMS directly.
Student or expert seminars can be simply facilitated using a Zoom meeting with the campus-based class viewing the meeting on a large screen while remote viewers or presenters connect to the Zoom meeting on their own devices.
Full class live discussions can be facilitated as per the seminars above – with the use of a roving microphone to pass around the campus-based participants. Small group discussions between campus-based and remote participants could be facilitated via assigning a campus-based student in each group to connect with the remote students using Zoom.
Studio or performance-based learning
Staff can share a video of a performance or studio via Zoom from the campus-based environment that has filmed on a mobile devices. Then use the Zoom Chat to discuss a performance or studio.
For live streaming, staff can also use the live streaming option in Universal Capture. This lets you stream video and audio or just audio to the Lecture Capture system. From a device, students can access Lecture Capture in the LMS subject and view the live stream. There is also the option to discuss the live stream using the Lecture Capture discussion tool while viewing the live stream. This discussion can be time stamped to relevant points in the live stream.
There are a range of advanced technical solutions for specific learning situations. Read more about possible teaching and learning scenarios where these advanced solutions may be appropriate and a discussion of their use.