In Autumn 2022, several Visual Communication (VisCom) subjects made a bold decision. They were going hybrid. This is the story of 87011 VC Project: Visual Communication and Emergent Practices. The subject offers lecture, tutorial and studio experiences to 130 students.

I asked Associate Professor Jacqueline Gothe about the highs and lows of this experience.

Why hybrid?

Initially it was just to give overseas students the opportunity to take this subject. 87011 had a studio for overseas students which ran separately on Zoom with Miro.

We have learnt how to teach online over the past two years.

Jacqueline Gothe

Later, as issues arose throughout Autumn session, there was a need to give local students hybrid options as well. Read on to find out what happened.

What worked well?

The most clearly hybrid delivery was in the lectures where DAB Production Support staff set up a camera so we were able to Zoom with a wider view of the speaker. We also had guest speakers and some panel sessions over the semester which worked really well. At least two support staff were present at every lecture to make sure everyone was miked up properly and they helped with any Zoom issues and cameras.

It’s probably important to note here that most faculties don’t have their own dedicated production support teams that can be on-call for every lecture. DAB Production Support also provide some extra equipment. So while, staff from other faculties can call on our central AVS for help, they can only help with the equipment that’s built into the room already.

Regarding hybrid studios, COVID isolation meant we had a lot of students and studio leaders unable to attend so we arranged for learning groups to support each other by managing their own Zoom or Facetime interaction in the studios.

I did not ask studio leaders to facilitate the face to face and Zoom in studio at the same time so students took responsibility in most cases. Was a lovely way of allowing students to support each other.


One student even presented through the space that students had opened up for them.

Hybridity allowed for panel sessions and good interactions between online and on-campus students during lectures. This maintained a great participatory experience for everybody. This also meant Aboriginal Elders could still attend online and these guest lecturers could present from distance when they couldn’t get to campus.

Results of what students are producing were beautiful. Overseas students have made amazing work so hybrid/online has not hindered them. Generally being able to be flexible with student attendance and participation has been lovely. I do love the flexibility


What didn’t work well?

We did have a studio exhibition for peer feedback at the end of the semester and the off shore students created a Miro board so that they were able to receive feedback. I haven’t heard any reports from students on the success of this but I don’t think this worked really quite as well as usual.

We also gradually had lower attendance at in the lecture theatre as students preferred to catch up online. Some students would’ve liked more recordings but we didn’t record the sessions where Aboriginal Elders were presenting.


After more than the two years of COVID and the focus on online, it is more difficult to ensure face to face attendance and participation.

Encouraging social interaction needs to be a priority as students have become isolated.


It has been wonderful to see them coming together on a few occasions but there’s still more work to be done to support belonging and engagement.

Image by Ali Vidler from Pixabay 

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