The year 2020 changed lives and perceptions forever. With the coronavirus pandemic, we were all forced to stay locked indoors, fearing an enemy we could not see. The good thing remains that throughout this difficult time, we still pursued knowledge.
Whether learning to bake or taking care of houseplants, we continued to seek ways to engage ourselves in lockdown. But, what about students? Those who will shape the next generation suffered academically without a classroom in which to discuss or debate ideas.
But, as a species, we always rise when the chips are down. This adversity gave birth to hybrid education. What exactly is that? We are glad you asked!
To keep it very simple, hybrid education or hybrid learning is a combination of remote & in-person learning. This approach has actually been implemented for years but has come to the fore after the pandemic.
There are a few common features which categorize hybrid learning. These are detailed further below:
- The Timing: This can be in real time or at different times, or a combination of both.
- The Space: This can be in person, where a teacher interacts with students who are physically present. It can also be done remotely, where two or more people are in different physical locations, but connected via the internet.
- The Interaction: This defines the direction of communication between the students and the tutor. It can be one-directional, where the tutor delivers lessons or multi-directional, wherein a tutor and all the students interact with each other.
- The Engagement: Depending on the level of the students and their knowledge of the subject matter, there are different ways to engage. This ranges from low engagement where the tutor delivers classes, to high engagement which requires active participation and discussions from the students.
These features of a hybrid education are crucial. A special focus on time, space and interaction is required to design subjects and frameworks for both teaching and learning.
The classroom has become a virtual space, where students can interact with each other in a respectful and positive manner. Students are starting to adapt to the nuances of various methods of a hybrid education.
Below are some of the constant factors across various forms of hybrid learning.
- Using your time the best: Some activities require more time at home while others need to be in person. The ideal classroom has the right balance of both.
- Equip students: It is critical to empower students with the skills required to learn by themselves and to be motivated. Guidance in this regard is extremely critical.
- Adapting content: Simple textbooks and journals seem to firmly be a thing of the past, with a hybrid education. Adaptations will be needed, both in terms of the type of content and how much of it students are expected to consume.
- Technological challenges: This has two facets. One, the lack of equal access to technologies needed to make a hybrid education possible. The other is the relevance of the methods chosen. For example, Zoom Fatigue is very real and can lead to a one-dimensional learning experience. Choosing or even developing the right tools to recreate an interactive experience of the classroom will be crucial in the future.
Like every other method of learning, hybrid education has its advantages and its drawbacks too. With trial and error however, this method will only get more effective.
Hybrid education allows students to partake more in family interactions, extracurricular activities and take up hobbies with their spare time. While it may be early days for hybrid education, the future is bright and we should be ready to accept that it is here to stay! Hybrid education can be a tricky proposition to navigate. Luckily, TheWorldGrad is here to guide you and help you to make the right decision.