H2m pedagogy: designing for hybrid learning in medical education

Tim Fawns, Lina Markauskaite, Lucila Carvalho, Peter Goodyear

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


In May 2020, the University of Edinburgh announced the September launch of a hybrid model for all on-campus programmes. Teaching would be neither fully online nor fully on-campus, but able to take place in either or both modalities (e.g. remote and on-campus students learning together), and change location without major disruption to its design. The significant pedagogical challenges were most keenly felt in professional education, where learning practical skills through engagement in complex practice is crucial. Focusing on examples from medicine, we begin by discussing hybrid learning in a 2-metre world (i.e. where physical distancing requires a 2-metre separation between people), or “H2m”. Our “chemistry” notation indicates the influence of the 2m requirement on the structural composition of the hybrid model (H). At the same time, we argue that, as unusual as the conditions are, they do not call for fundamentally different design principles and processes (the “how” of design). Design for H2m learning requires flexible design tools that help teachers see and focus attention on relationships between a priori design decisions and the wider, distributed environments and emergent activity that are co-assembled in situ with students at “learntime”. Drawing on insights from a professional development course to help clinical educators redesign their own courses for H2m learning, we show how such relational design tools facilitated the creation of different design outputs (the “what” of designs), better attuned to situational affordances. Among other things, these design outputs foreground: ways of encouraging student co-design of learning environments; explicit consideration of diversity among students; and reflection on the relationships between what students bring to the learning space, their emergent learning experiences, and what they must yet learn for professional practice. We also argue that in order to deal with the complexity of designing for H2m, teacher-designers need a good appreciation of the relationships between designable structures and student agency.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHybrid Learning Spaces
EditorsEinat Gil, Yishay Mor, Yannis Dimitriadis, Christian Köppe
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783030885205
ISBN (Print)9783030885199
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Hybrid education
  • Physical distancing
  • Clinical skills
  • Professional practice education
  • Medical education
  • Design for learning
  • Design templates
  • Teachers as designers
  • Student agency

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