Improving hybrid teaching spaces and guidance

The Improvements to Hybrid Teaching Facilities (HTF) project closed on 31 March 2022. Hybrid equipment has now been installed in the majority of the rooms planned; and, with their agreement, remaining installations are being managed directly by relevant departments, to suit their own schedules. IT Services were responsible for the overall project and budget management, liaising with the external supplier, and coordinating specialist support, including AV and Estates, from colleagues across the University.

While the project’s original aim was to upgrade a small selection of rooms at very rapid pace, the project experienced some initial procurement delays but was able to have an impact on a larger number of rooms. A total of 13 rooms were upgraded direct, while the academic divisions managed nine upgrades, which were majority funded. These substantial upgrades enabled a common format to be installed, with modifications made as necessary for the space concerned. In addition, small-pot funding enabled Divisions to purchase additional equipment to enhance the hybrid teaching capability of a further 40 rooms.

The project provided funding for the Hybrid Teaching and Learning (HyTel) project, which aimed to develop an improved understanding of pedagogical practice within hybrid teaching spaces. HyTeL was a collaboration between the University’s Department of Education, and Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), and published its findings in the report: Students connecting: Advancing hybrid teaching and learning at the University of Oxford. As part of this evaluation, the CTL provided guidance and support for teaching staff including workshops, webinars and online resources. A second phase of evaluation is planned, to include rooms that were installed at the latter end of the project.

A 'lessons learned' exercise has been carried out following the closure of the HTF project, and this has provided useful insight on the approach, process, and outcomes achieved. This will be used to inform any future investment in hybrid teaching and upgrading of physical spaces.

By providing hybrid teaching facilities across the University, the project gave additional support for students who are not able to come into residence, due to travel restrictions, and extended the inclusivity and flexibility that have been brought about by the enhanced integration of digital technology beyond the pandemic, for the benefit of all.