#27 – Create an Engaged Learner Journey with the Hybrid Model

Unpacking Education February 17, 2021 24 min

Today, we are focused on exploring how to efficiently and effectively plan for hybrid learning. Instead of creating multiple lessons every day, we will share best practices for designing flexible lessons that will meet the needs of your learners in multiple delivery modes at once. Many school districts are being asked to pivot their delivery systems on short notice to adapt to new infection rates in their area. This essentially means that teachers must be ready to flex between face-to-face instruction, a hybrid model, and fully remote learning at any time. While this makes a lot of sense from a health and planning perspective, it can very quickly become difficult to manage for teachers.

Join our Digital Learning Specialists as they review six ways to structure and plan for hybrid learning. We’ll take a look at how to use these methods to manage the workload while offering rich learning experiences for students.

Below, you will find resources and tips shared during the podcast.

Paul Beckermann
PreK-12 Digital Learning Specialist
Rena Clark
Digital Learning Coach
Pamela Beckermann
PreK-12 Digital Learning Specialist

The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts.

C.S. Lewis, author


In this week’s episode, we discuss the following strategies and resources that are available on AVID Open Access for you to explore in more depth.

Six Approaches to Design Student-Centered Lessons for Hybrid Learning

There is no single right way to implement hybrid learning, and teachers continue to experiment with different ways to develop resources to engage their students. In this week’s podcast, we’ll explore the following approaches in more depth:

  • Self-Paced Online
  • Playlist
  • Project- or Inquiry-Based Learning
  • Flip Flop
  • Virtual Station Rotation
  • Semi-Synchronous

Self-Paced Online

In the self-paced online approach, you will design every lesson so that students can complete it on their own, regardless of their learning model. Oftentimes, this will include a short screen cast introducing core content or explaining the tasks for the day. This is then followed up with some type of engaging learning activities, where students dig deeper into the content, research on their own, practice a skill, complete online activities, or interact with other students remotely through interactive technology, such as discussions, Flip (Tips), collaborative documents, email, and more.


A playlist is a list of tasks that a student must complete. Ideally, students have some choice in which tasks they complete on their journey toward mastering the content. A choice board is one popular version of a playlist. In the playlist model, you can either provide a different playlist each day or one for the entire week. In the case of a week-long playlist, students often receive it on Monday and are required to have all the work completed by Friday.

Project- or Inquiry-Based Learning

This model is another variation of the self-paced online model. In the project-based approach, students are all working on a designated project, whether at home or in school. This way, they are all completing the same lesson at the same time. However, you should take advantage of the in-class time to conduct formative check-ins with each student to see how they are progressing. You could also facilitate peer check-ins and group think time to take advantage of the peer-to-peer connections that can best happen in person. It’s a good idea to schedule virtual check-ins with your remote-only students, as well. You won’t want them to fall behind.


While you will likely use all of these five design models at some point during your hybrid experience, the flip-flop model is especially helpful for working in those highly interactive, in-person experiences. This model is much like it sounds: You flip-flop the in-person and online lessons during each A/B cycle in the schedule. For example, on the first day, you might facilitate a Socratic Seminar, a lab, music rehearsal, or a class discussion with the face-to-face students, while the remote learners conduct research on a related, but non-sequential, topic. Then, the next day, you flip-flop the lessons.

Virtual Station Rotation

Many teachers implement station rotation in their classrooms. Traditionally, this would mean that during a class period, students rotate between several learning stations. Most often, these stations could be completed in any order. In an English classroom, for instance, one station might be for grammar, one for peer editing, one for a mini-lesson with the teacher, and one for independent reading. This model has long been a popular strategy in elementary classrooms, and it has seen significant growth at all grade levels in recent years.


Students are given time to work independently, even when attending a synchronous meeting. This can be with cameras on or cameras off. Often this entails breakout rooms where students are given an individual task to complete. The teacher joins students for one-on-one time, with personalized attention and feedback.

Tech Tip! When planning for semi-synchronous learning, create several extra breakout rooms, in case you need to have a conversation with a few students or need to include a peer educator.