The Learning Accelerator Blog/In person, remote, and hybrid – oh my! Engaging and supporting students – no matter where they are along the road.

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In person, remote, and hybrid – oh my! Engaging and supporting students – no matter where they are along the road.

by Jin-Soo Huh & Roshni Lakhi on April 26 2021

Looking for ways to assess your students equitably despite their physical locations? With more districts moving to some variation of in-person and remote learning (e.g., hybrid, simultaneous learning, concurrent learning, Zoom-and-Room, and Click-and-Brick), the challenges of supporting students in multiple contexts continue to face educators. Educators not only need to teach students across the virtual divide but also ensure they are learning in this new model. To address this challenge, it is important for educators to continue to build remote-friendly assessments that enable them to understand whether in-person and remote learners are truly mastering the content, regardless of where they are learning.

Our newly published Problem of Practice is focused on just this, how to begin designing remote-friendly assessments that are accessible to all learners, whether in-person or remote. The most recent guide in our Remote/Hybrid Problem of Practice series shares concrete strategies, captured from educators doing this work across the country, around how they:

  • Get a pulse on student progress hourly, daily, and weekly to gauge whether students are understanding the material and where additional support may be needed.
  • Engage students in the process of assessment by providing opportunities for student agency and choice over tracking progress and demonstrating mastery.
  • Determine clearly whether students have reached mastery by designing ways for students to demonstrate their learning authentically, in a manner that spans the virtual divide.

This practical guide is the third in a series which builds on how to engage learners in hybrid and/or remote learning as well as effectively teach in-person and remote students simultaneously. Each Problem of Practice showcases specific ways educators and/or students have felt and been successful within these contexts and enables other educators to build off of learnings from those who have already implemented unique and effective strategies. Some fun strategies that can be added to your instruction immediately include:

  • Amtrak Learning Cars: Offer students a variety of work environments to mimic in-class learning by utilizing digital breakout rooms. Offering choice and opportunities for peer engagement, teacher support, or independent work enables students to choose a virtual environment that works for them and meets their learning needs.
  • Digital Demonstrations: Students can demonstrate their learning by creating digital work products where they illustrate or apply what they have learned in an authentic manner. For example, they can create a video explaining a concept or share their products with peers and/or family members.
  • Remote Choice Boards: Providing opportunities for choice can be a helpful way to get students invested in your lesson, allow them to choose how they will demonstrate their learning, and engage in something they are interested in. Choice boards can be used both to allow students to choose the sequence of their learning as well as to choose what type of assignment they want to complete.
  • Wait Questions: Using this technique provides students with a question – and then gives them time to thoughtfully come up with an answer. Students type their answer into the virtual chat and all press enter together once the teacher indicates, resulting in a tidal wave of answers at once. Students review their peers’ responses and this serves as a springboard for discussion.

With districts announcing plans for virtual and hybrid academies that will operate even after the pandemic, the strategies from all three guides will continue to remain relevant even as the pandemic wanes. Many of the strategies described in this series can also be implemented with fully in-person or fully remote classes.

NOTE: These resources are based on the academic literature of learning in online and distance environments, in addition to our work focused on blended and personalized learning prior to COVID-19 and our work with hundreds of districts and thousands of leaders throughout the pandemic. If you have any feedback, questions, concerns, etc. or you have strategies you would like to share, please feel free to reach out to

About the Author

Jin-Soo Huh is a Partner at The Learning Accelerator. He brings over a decade of experience implementing and scaling innovative education models that incorporates blended and personalized learning.

Roshni Lakhi is a Partner at The Learning Accelerator. She brings a range of skills to TLA, including deep educational experience as a founding teacher at an urban charter school, educator coaching and professional development facilitation, technological skills, and graphic design knowledge.