Connected Learning Professional Learning

Northern California Writing Project’s Hybrid Summer Institute


Northern California Writing Project (NCWP) serves a large geographical area, making face-to-face invitational institutes difficult for teachers who live far from the campus center. We wanted to increase access to participation in the summer institute by moving the bulk of our time to a digital space.

Our Hybrid Summer Invitational design consisted of a face-to-face orientation and three face-to-face days of a pre-institute camp, then online coaching for presentations and a two-week period of synchronous online meetings on Zoom till noon each day with afternoons open for book groups, article groups, and writing groups to work together or individually as they decided. We ended the institute with two days of face-to-face colloquia.

We had two major concerns as we moved to a virtual platform. First, we wanted to be able to create the conditions that allow for the social community building that makes summer invitational institutes such a special experience. We wanted teachers to be able to bond as they work hard together, share experiences and discoveries, and reveal the questions that drive their practice. Our other concern was the Teacher Inquiry Presentations. We did not want to lose the participation and interaction that gives life and relevance to the work teachers share in their presentations.

The platforms we used supported our work well. We had a shared Google Drive that curated folders for individual participants and working groups. All materials, including agendas and presentation outlines, were hyperdocs linked with resources. Zoom allowed us to work in small groups and backchannel through chat. Our Twitter hashtag allowed us to share pics of notes and drawings as well as places we visited on our virtual writing marathon. Our WordPress site became a digital portfolio of our combined work.

The resource is a linked table that maps out the entire process of the Hybrid SI design and implementation from inception to reflection. In it you can find planning notes, calendars, and linked agendas for every day we met, both in person and online. The calendars labeled Week 1 & Week 2 include the agenda and schedule for each day as well as links to each teacher’s presentation hyperdoc. Be sure to check out our Twitter hashtag, our WordPress site, and the survivor-style confessionals that served as part of our evaluation.

Related Links

View all of the resources from the Building New Pathways to Leadership initiative