The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about some drastic challenges for educators as learning in many educational institutions has transitioned from in-person instruction to distance learning models that include combinations of in-person instruction and virtual learning.
As we all know, the education sector is witnessing some drastic changes as the teaching methods continuously evolve. Many educational institutes have now adopted teaching methods different from typical classroom learning. Since distance learning is being globally used, many educational institutions are currently using a hybrid learning model to create the best learning environment.
However, the hybrid learning model is not just about virtual classrooms. It is a comprehensive learning approach to combine the best parts of face-to-face and online learning to provide an ideal learning experience.
What is a Hybrid Learning Model?
Hybrid learning can be defined as an educational model wherein some students attend class in person while other students join class virtually from home. Educators or teachers teach remote and in-person students together at the same time using tools like video conferencing.
Some of the time, hybrid classes include asynchronous learning elements, such as online exercises or pre-recorded video instructions to support the face-to-face classroom sessions as well. If hybrid learning is combined well, they tend to bring out the best aspects of in-person as well as online learning, thereby making learning more accessible and attainable for students.
In order to make hybrid learning successful, the elements of your hybrid course need to be tailored to the learning format, whether be in-person or online.
Benefits of Hybrid Learning
The primary goal of hybrid learning is to combine the two formats to create a singular learning experience without any weak spots. The benefits of hybrid learning are:
- A flexible and customized learning experience
Many educational institutes are now transitioning towards hybrid learning for better flexibility in a learning schedule, student engagement with their learning material, and collaboration and communication between students and teachers. For those students who are unable to attend school, hybrid learning allows them to learn remotely.
2. Synchronous communication opportunities
It is believed that only a few learning experiences can match the intimacy of an in-person academic experience. The face-to-face aspect of hybrid learning is beneficial for students and provides them with the opportunity for real-time engagement between peers.
This time is best used for synchronous group work, presentations, and deep, meaningful conversations. You can also take advantage of the in-person time you have together to form meaningful, academic relationships and then take those relationships online.
3. Independent academic exploration
Online learning comes with many freedoms. It offers you the freedom to learn from anywhere, revisit courses or study material whenever you want, and as many times you want, the freedom to develop an in-depth asynchronous discussion with your peers. Students who excel at self-management and independent learning will definitely thrive under these freedoms.
4. Optimum use of Resources
A lot of time, it is difficult to participate in an in-person class where all the students do individual virtual work. During such scenarios, you can plan your syllabus and schedule which classes will take place online and which will be face-to-face. This will also help you in enabling the kind of resources you will need so you can plan the lesson accordingly and their optimization.
Teaching Tips for hybrid learning
To ensure your new hybrid learning model runs smoothly, here are some helpful hybrid teaching tips:
- Don't be scared to redesign. The learning course you created is not set in stone; as you move through the semester, lean into the strengths that arise and, with time, redesign to accommodate for any weaknesses that get exposed.
- Use online work to provide targeted learning plans, extensions, or one-on-one teaching for individual students.
- Try to offer mobile learning options for the online portion of your course.
- Be open to feedback, and try to learn from your student's experiences.
- Don't overload online assignments; just because they can be completed anywhere with ease doesn't mean they take any less time as compared to face-to-face work.
- Try to integrate the online and the in-person. A successful hybrid learning course is only as strong as the relationship between its two halves.
- Try to embrace your hybrid community. If you find yourself stuck or frustrated, turn to other hybrid class teachers that you respect and gain from their experience and wisdom.
- With time, try to explain the purpose and expectations of your hybrid class clearly and often.
- Try to provide students with self and time management tips so they aren't confused as soon as they leave the classroom. This is especially beneficial for students who have never completed online coursework before.
- Try to connect your students to a trusted IT hotline for any technical issues that may arise.
The Future of Modern Education
The hybrid approach to learning has completely changed the way students learn and perceive things. It has made it possible for every student to learn at a pace that is comfortable for them, thereby increasing retention. Students can now easily participate in a variety of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities that are aligned to their learning styles, thereby helping them gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter and excel at it. Due to a smaller group, teacher-student interactions can be much more personalized and effective. With the help of Teachmint, you can make the most of this hybrid learning and give a meaningful learning experience to all the students.