As education technology advances, most schools are adopting teaching approaches that are not limited to the traditional classroom setting. Remote learning, much like remote working, is being adopted across the globe and most educational facilities are rapidly implementing a hybrid learning model.
However, hybrid learning entails more than simply adding half of your learning programs into a virtual education setting. Instead, it is a comprehensive learning method that combines the best of online and in-person learning to create the perfect educational experience. Most schools across the United States have fully embraced this model and found a level ground with hybrid learning. But how well would you understand hybrid learning? We give a comprehensive explanation below.
As we have hinted, hybrid learning is a new educational approach that allows students to experience the best of both worlds, offering both face-to-face and virtual learning. While some students undertake the typical physical classroom learning program, others can do the same remotely or at home through technology.
In most cases, hybrid learning employs asynchronous learning techniques such as online lessons and pre-recorded video instructions to facilitate face-to-face learning sessions. A well-structured hybrid course incorporates the best facets of face-to-face and online learning while ensuring education is more feasible for most students. Successful hybrid learning must be tailored for each of the two formats, in-person and virtual.
A hybrid learning model entails simultaneous delivery of live lessons both to online and in-person students. This model is sometimes called synchronous instruction. Additionally, a hybrid learning model typically includes asynchronous virtual learning techniques. Notable tools used in the hybrid learning model include:
As we have seen, hybrid learning is an educational method where some students partake in online sessions while others attend the same sessions in person. Hybrid learning instructors train remote and in-person students simultaneously using video conferencing and other forms of technology.
Blended learning, on the other hand, entails combining both in-person and online lessons and activities. Learners get to participate in both physical classroom sessions and complete other exercises online. In other words, students get to attend classroom sessions and still get to complete online assignments.
Both hybrid and blended learning use virtual and physical education. However, there's a slight difference. The hybrid learning model comprises two sets of students: those who study in person and those who study virtually. Blended on, on the other hand, has the same set of learners utilizing the best of both worlds.
A hybrid learning approach allows students to participate in classroom sessions and still take their assignments home, where they can study virtually on a deeper level. However, each of these programs is tailored to fit into each format and how it's done varies from one institution to another. Furthermore, students will, on average, cover half of their studies in classrooms and the other half online.
According to the Hybrid Learning Consortium (HLC), a worldwide learning community made up of independent schools that create virtual courses, hybrid learning is here to stay.
However, HLC, also believes the traditional classroom setting can never be done away with and will be around just as much as hybrid learning. This presents new opportunities to curriculum developers and learning institutions to embrace this new learning approach and exploit the untapped potential of hybrid learning.
To ensure a successful hybrid educational approach, here are a few teaching tips to get you started.
To successfully set up a hybrid learning environment, you first need to assess the available resources in your school and its IT infrastructure. From there, you can make the necessary adjustments that can facilitate a fully functional hybrid learning space.
Set your goals for each semester: Whether long term or short term, create clear goals on what you want to achieve at the end of each semester. Communicate these expectations to your students.
Create a roadmap: With goals set, the next step is to create a roadmap for your hybrid learning program. How will you ensure the classes run smoothly and on schedule? Develop timetables, charts, lesson outlines, and course modules. This helps you stay on track as you meet the set goals.
Plan ahead: Determine which course to administer online and which ones to explain in person. For example, the following activities should be assigned to your face-to-face students:
Test your hybrid learning plan: Now that you've established a successful hybrid learning model, the final step is to give it a trial before the final launch. You want your hybrid course to run smoothly without running into technical hitches when learning sessions are underway. You also want everything to be accessible and transparent. As such, you should have a reliable faculty assistant or student help you give it a trial run. This will help you spot and correct any loopholes before the main launch.
There are many ways that hybrid learning is beneficial both to the students and the instructors. For one, students get to participate in classroom discussions with their instructors while having the discretion of completing their online assignments at their convenience. However, this learning approach isn't a one-size-fits-all for most students. There are pros and drawbacks of hybrid learning, as we can see here:
From flexible learning schedules to teaching timelines, flexible collaboration and communication to flexible turnaround times, this learning method allows students who cannot attend classroom sessions to catch up with learning at their convenience.
Hybrid educational models help students and instructors utilize available resources more efficiently, be it tutoring or making the most of technological offerings. When some students learn conveniently from home, educators utilize video conferencing platforms like Zoom or digital grading systems to connect with these learners as they would do in a classroom session.
Not everyone who wants to further their studies or join a specific learning institution has access to the same. These setbacks could be due to a lack of financial resources or the safety concerns caused by the pandemic. According to statistics, higher education enrollment was 88% between 2013-2018.
To ensure mass enrollment of students in higher learning institutions, a hybrid learning approach gives opportunities to students who could otherwise not manage to enroll either due to location or other financial constraints. The same applies to Diaspora students who cannot obtain student visas or permits to travel to school locations. Hybrid learning creates accessible and equal opportunities for all.
Requires Great Organizational Skills
Online study requires excellent organizational skills like time management, timely submissions, and following project outlines, something most students struggle with.
One Needs To Be Tech Tech-Savvy
Hybrid courses require one to have some level of expertise in technology. Besides the technical know-how, students need to navigate these online platforms and learning tools, one must also invest in the ideal equipment. For example, students will need to invest in the perfect computer device that meets the school's specifications. They'll also need reliable internet access. Depending on course modules, learners will also need to invest in software programs.
Online learning has been around for some time. However, it received widespread adoption in the wake of the covid 19 pandemic. And looking at the positive global response to this shift in the education industry, experts predict that the new learning model will be around much longer, meaning it is here to stay.
Most institutions are developing this model to make it more efficient, effective, and user-centric, another indication that hybrid learning could be the next big thing.
Again, hybrid learning helps bring together people of different backgrounds creating a strong sense of community in and outside the learning environment.
Given these immense benefits, experts are convinced that learning institutions will endeavor to offer virtual learning resources long after the pandemic and beyond. With such a significant impact hybrid learning has on contemporary education, it is only logical that the major players in this industry should develop resources that fulfill the needs and interests of students and instructors.
Are you looking to implement a hybrid learning model? You can capitalize on this new opportunity with the right technology. At Classavo, we offer an all-in-one teaching and learning SaaS platform that helps professors engage students better through interactive content and analytics.
Our advanced technology also saves students 72% of the cost of traditional learning material. Bonus? Classavo is available to professors for free! Book a demo today with our Classavo TAs here.
Learn more about Classavo's work with Woxsen University in South Central India.