We are halfway through 2021 and none of us had any prior expectations for the multitude of opportunities and methods that have now entered into the field of education and learning. Hybrid learning, for now, is stealing the show!
The swift and effective outcomes of hybrid learning have prompted the schools, colleges, and other institutions to find shelter under this new normal.
We as educators, in our effort to continuously reap benefits from each and every known and unknown scenario, have a duty to ensure that learning can be as seamless as possible. Hybrid learning is one such way
Having over 28 years of experience in the education sector, I have been a witness to a lot of alterations that took place. Even as we stand at this juncture, I am certain that hybrid learning is the change we all need to implement. 30 years from now and no one would dare bring such monumental changes but here we are!
Hybrid Learning is the combination of in-class and online learning. According to the Center for Digital Education, hybrid learning is “the use of online resources to substitute portions of students’ instruction that would otherwise be given face-to-face.” Over time, many countries have dynamically adapted to new methods of teaching introduced as per the needs of modern education. For example, synchronous and asynchronous hybrid learning is extensively practiced in Estonia and Cambodia respectively. Similarly, multi-directional and bi-directional learning is practiced in Uruguay and Peru respectively. As educators, we are always required to be vigilant and analyze every aspect of any new change- its advantages or disadvantages. The advantages of hybrid learning, are unparalleled, ranging from increased access to education to concurrently catering to diverse learning styles. Let’s go through a few
Flexibility: The COVID-19 global pandemic, which forced many schools, colleges, and
universities to close on short notice or function with substantially reduced class sizes,
highlighted the necessity for flexibility in education. I believe that even if COVID-19 is removed
from the equation, flexibility can be tremendously advantageous
Freedom to choose: I have seen kids who are interested in learning but are too fatigued to
attend a session. This is where hybrid learning can provide those who choose to learn remotely
with the opportunity to participate in some of the social aspects of learning. This is very effective,
whereby nearly 60% of students agree that hybrid learning helps them become more
autonomous and confident.
Combating absenteeism: Absenteeism had a negative impact on student’s academic
achievement, according to a 2016 study published in ‘Educational Sciences: Theory and
Practice’. Educators face a significant challenge in reducing absenteeism. Hybrid learning comes
across as one solution to this problem.
Deeper learning: There are many traditional courses that go into great detail, however student
availability and lack of focus can be critical impediments for the desired outcomes of such
courses. Hybrid learning comes as a great rescue in these scenarios because students shall
always have online access to assignment explanations as well as other crucial courses
components available to them
Differentiation: A popular buzzword in education, differentiation is based on the premise that
people learn at various rates and in different ways, and that they must be accommodated.
Responsive teaching is considerably more viable with hybrid education. Instructors can simply
upload alternate slide sets, assignments, or remarks based on the needs of the unique student.
To conclude, hybrid learning is assisting in changing the way we think about education and
reducing many of the traditional boundaries. While it is too early to tell whether hybrid learning
will become a permanent aspect of education after COVID-19, I am confident that there are
enough tendencies to suggest that authorities should plan for hybrid learning to be an integral
part of education delivery in the near future.