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The Academy Developing Practice Series: Experiences of Hybrid Practice

Developing the Online Aspect of a Hybrid Environment


Please listen to the following podcast, where our guests discuss their practice, learning and ideas regarding their experiences of developing the online aspect of the hybrid environment.  You will also find several resources to help you further explore this theme in the reading list below.

(browser direct link—Experiences-of-developing-the-online-aspect-of-a-hybrid-environment-e1apvuk)


Heather White is a leading international expert on all things Networking, Personal Brand and LinkedIn, and just loves connecting people! Heather believes the hard truth about networking is that if your contacts don’t ‘get’ you they can’t help you.  Networking is about building a strong network of contacts who understand you and are willing to recommend you when the moment arises.  It is also about caring for and being of service to those in your network.

Monica Chavez is an Educational Developer at the Centre for Innovation in Education at the University of Liverpool. She has a PhD in applied linguistics from the School of English in the field of scientific writing across cultures and the inequalities of academic writing across the social sciences. Monica has taught internationally in Mexico and Hong Kong. She won a University of Liverpool Learning & Teaching Fellowship due to her contributions to supporting teaching and learning with her ‘champions model’. Her interests include communities of practice for education, decolonising the curriculum and digital storytelling as an assessment method.

Steven Talbot, of Steven Talbot Consultancy, prides himself on delivering development activities that lead to sustained behaviour change. His career has found him working with the most vulnerable people in society and therefore his approach is always people focussed.  Steven has worked in various settings in and around the public sector which always enabled him to be on the front line. He uses this experience to now delivery relevant and challenging development activities. In 2018 Steven started his own consultancy company which has won contracts with local governments, emergency services and Universities in the Midlands and Northwest.

Once you have had a chance to listen to the podcast and look at the resources, we encourage you use the following questions to prompt reflection:

  1. Heather talked about how we can develop the online aspect of networking in a hybrid environment. She detailed some of the opportunities and challenges for networking online and how we can make networking online ‘normal.’  Have you been able to develop the online aspect of how you network?  Do Heather’s suggestions help you to address some of the challenges you face?
  2. Monica described how she developed the online aspect of her support for academics using Communities of Practice on Microsoft Teams. Would developing online communities of practice support your work in a hybrid environment?
  3. Steven detailed how he has sought to pivot his highly interactive, kinaesthetic, in-person development sessions in an online context.  He details some of the digital tools that he is using to achieve the same outcomes as from his in-person sessions.  What are some of the tools you have used to develop the online aspect of your hybrid environment?  Are they affective for what you hope to achieve?  How can you develop your engagement with these tools?


  • Kirschner, P. A., & Lai, K. W. (2007). Online communities of practice in education. Technology, Pedagogy and Education16(2), 127-131.

This article explores the growing recognition of the importance in using online communities of practice (CoPs) as a model for teacher professional development, and in particular, to support teachers and educators in reflecting on their practice, in a collaborative and supportive learning environment.


This overview of digital tools for education provided by the Centre for Innovation in Education provides resources for a range of digital tools and technologies to support learning and teaching in Higher Education.


This article explores the digital technologies that learners are engaging with in their everyday lives and how they can be used to support study.


This article provides you with highly practical guidelines on how to host an online webinar from start to finish.

The Academy’s Developing Practice Podcast is produced by The Academy, University of Liverpool.  The role of the Academy is to promote and enable organisational excellence through the strategic development of the University’s people and practices.  The podcast hosts Matt Davis, Organisational Developer and Alex Owen, Academic Developer are based in the Academy.  To find out more about the work of The Academy click here.


About the authors: Dr Alex Owen is a Senior Academic Developer based in The Academy at the University of Liverpool.  She leads peer learning and teaching development across the broad range of Academy activities designed in response to the strategic educational objectives of the University.  Matt Davis is an Organisational Developer based in The Academy at the University of Liverpool.  He leads on the curation and creation of online staff development activities and enables teams to achieve the strategic aims of the university.