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Experiences of Teaching in a Hybrid Environment

Experiences of Teaching in a Hybrid Environment




Please listen to the following podcast, where our guests discuss their practice, learning and ideas regarding their experiences of teaching in a 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-teaching-in-a-hybrid-environment-e1ctb9c)


Gemma Ahearne is a University Teacher in Criminology based in the School of Law and Social Justice at the University of Liverpool. Gemma is a committed activist, teacher and researcher within the sex industry, and her involvement in this area spans almost twenty years. Gemma is committed to innovative pedagogical approaches particularly since being diagnosed with Dyslexia in October 2020. Living with various disabilities Gemma is keen to explore inclusive ways of working and learning that build on individual strengths and respect differences. In addition to the above, Gemma runs a popular Criminology blog with over 6800 subscribers at where her broad range of interests are explored. Gemma can also be followed on twitter @princessjack.

Rachel Smedley has been a Lecturer in Geography at the University of Liverpool since 2018. She is interested in how the Earth’s climate and environment has changed in the past so we can better understand the future, working on processes in a range of environments from glaciers to coasts to rivers to landslides. She is both a field and laboratory scientist and brings these expertise into her teaching. She is a specialist in a laboratory technique called luminescence dating where we can take a sample of silt, sand or rock and determine how long it has been buried in the ground. Rachel loves being in the laboratory for her experimental research and really enjoys teaching students in the Central Teaching Laboratories at Liverpool where learning is all hands on.

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. Gemma described her move to micro-learning in response to teaching in a hybrid environment. She has given the students control over the direction and pace of their learning – would this model work for your teaching?
  2. Gemma described how she has found a micro-learning model effective for breaking down ideas so that all students are able to authentically access the learning in a hybrid environment – could this model support EDI on your programmes operating in a hybrid environment?
  3. Rachel described how she developed an online laboratory to support her teaching in a hybrid environment – could the principles for this model work for your teaching in your discipline?
  4. Rachel described how she plans to use the learning resources she developed for her online lab in various ways in the future as she potentially teaches online / hybrid / in-person – how will you be able to use the learning resources you’ve developed since March 2020 to support your future teaching?


A collection of articles written around the special issue theme of ‘Transitions to remote and blended learning’. These 20 articles represent reflective practice accounts, original research, case studies and ‘on the horizon’ works undertaken at 10 different Institutions across Scotland, England and Australia. Written at a time of great uncertainty in terms of the spread and impact of the Covid-19 variants, the articles are testament to the commitment of our colleagues (with students as partners, in some cases) to providing a high quality, supportive learning environment in relation to a necessary move to emergency remote teaching, followed by a more consolidated period of blended and online learning.

Some students with learning disabilities struggle to process hour-long lecture recordings.  This article explores pedagogical flexibility and online support, which may offer new ways ahead.

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.