Hybrid learning, blended learning, virtual classrooms, distance education all of these terms existed long before Covid-19 pandemic. The learning concepts and methods were not new. But they were not as popular as the conventional education methods that mostly involved full time classroom presence. Well, now it is old news. Virtual classrooms and hybrid learning are the new vocabulary in our books and they are here to stay.
Hybrid learning is an educational model that caters to students both in-person and online. Some students attend the classes in-person in the institute’s physical premises, while others join the class virtually from home. Educators teach and interact with the students remote and in-person at the same time using video conferencing software. In some cases, hybrid classes include asynchronous learning elements, like online exercises and pre-recorded video instruction. When planned well, hybrid learning combines the finest aspects of in-person and online learning while making education more attainable for many students.
Hybrid vs. Blended Learning
Hybrid learning and blended learning can sound very similar, and both contain most of the same instructional essentials for education. However, both are diverse learning models that have their own merits.
Blended learning combines in-person teaching with online instructional videos where students work on online exercises and watch pre-recorded instructional videos during their own time. This learning method does not include any interactive sessions unless it is exclusively specified or a live virtual classroom.
Hybrid learning involves a live and virtual classroom, where teachers instruct in-person and remote students at the same time. In hybrid learning models, asynchronous teaching methods can be used to supplement synchronous, face-to-face instruction.
Both in-person and online learning present their own set of pros and cons. The goal of hybrid learning is to combine the both popular learning formats to create a singular learning experience to eliminate the demerits of both individual learning formats. Hybrid learning is more than just instructional videos uploaded after you enrol for a specific course. For hybrid learning to be successful, the elements of the hybrid course are tailored to the learning format, whether it be in-person or online. Here are 5 aspects of hybrid learning that makes educating and learning more fun and accessible.
1. No more 9-5 for some of us! – Many schools, institutions and universities have transitioned to hybrid learning for all the advantages it offers for the educators and students alike. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the setting up of virtual classrooms for the benefit of students and educators alike. As the new normal inches closer by the day, we realise we found it comfortable with all the flexibility and some don’t really have the old world pull of 9-5 strict schedules, while some prefer to get back to the old-normal. Well, hybrid learning is the perfect solution for both. It combines in-person and virtual classrooms, while having the live interactive experience from behind the screen at the comfort of your own homes.
2.From behind the screen – In-person learning has its perks, as interaction is a very essential and crucial part of the learning experience. No number of online tutorials can replace the in-person guidance, support (Well, who are we kidding? Criticism too!) and the social life it brings with it. Well, you are not missing out on much of the college gossip. With Hybrid learning the interactive element of an immediate classroom experience is not lost. It is there for you to be a part of and enjoy.
In-person and virtual classrooms offer the same learning experience except from the comfort of your couch. Your time is best used for group work, presentations with interactive Q&As and much more.
3. Freedom of learning – Online learning comes with an extensive amount of time and freedom for letting your independent creativity run wild. Students who excel at self-management and independent learning will thrive under the new found freedom: the amount of time that you save on commute and the money you save on relocating to the cities and to learn at your own pace and revisit materials any number of times.
4. Resource abundance – The routine drone of college that you wish you could do without? The assemblies, the endless meetings, the constant running around for supplies and calls, the amount of time and resources you save in terms of time and money is abundant. With students having the course curriculum and schedules for virtual interactive classes, your time and resources are in abundance for you to pursue your interests at your own pace with expert guidance at hand.
5. Accessibility – Whenever, wherever! – Whenever, wherever. That’s the new motto for modern education ie., hybrid learning. Gone are the days, we were expected to sit through the droning unhappy lectures that were of little interest to you or learn to do a job that was no fun for the sake of the credit in the bank account. The new age of digital revolution has given us the much-needed comfort and flexibility to explore, learn and pursue our interests with ease without having to think about the logistics of relocation and other factors that burn a hole in your pocket.