Creating a hybrid learning environment in the classroom

4 min read
Creating a hybrid learning environment in the classroom
February 18th, 2021

Hybrid learning is becoming common practice for schools around the world. Here’s a breakdown of what it is, why it’s become so popular, and how to embrace a hybrid learning setup.

As a new calendar year commences, schools around the world will continue to grapple with a global pandemic and the many challenges it brings.

One major challenge educators continue to face is facilitating engaging lessons when some students are in the classroom, some are learning from home, and some are doing a bit of both. Increasingly, teachers and lecturers are turning to a hybrid learning approach, offering a style of lesson involving online and face-to-face elements based on the needs of students.

What is hybrid learning?

2020 saw the growth of concepts like blended and hybrid learning. While these pedagogical concepts aren’t brand new, they are similar and there is some debate around what differentiates them. Based on our research, blended learning refers to a setup that gives students and educators flexibility through a combination of face-to-face classroom time, along with online coursework and lessons. Hybrid learning is largely seen as a form of blended learning, which involves finding the right mix of online learning – whether it be a module or lecture completed online within a physical class setting, or an online module or task completed remotely – and face-to-face learning that works best for teachers and students.

For example, a hybrid lesson could involve some students completing an online task within a physical classroom, some completing the task online from home, followed by a teacher going through the task with those in the physical classroom, while also streaming to those learning from home.

Why has hybrid learning become so popular?

Hybrid learning has become increasingly popular over the last year, somewhat out of necessity: schools, universities and other education facilities have been forced to close. They’ve had to adapt by facilitating remote learning with entirely online classes, or in some cases, a combination of in-person and remote learning. But beyond this, there are a number of factors that have led to its growing popularity.

  • The proliferation of EdTech: We now have the tools needed to execute online classes to a high degree of quality, with access to a range of video conferencing and other technology. We also have access to more advanced technology and online learning tools that can help break up the traditional teacher talks, students listen lesson. For example, many students have access to their own device or computer, and can complete online activities and share their work with the rest of the class through screen sharing functionality or cloud software.
  • Flexibility: One of the greatest benefits of hybrid learning is the flexibility it affords both students and teachers. It opens up possibilities of online learning, or a combination of online and in-person. This allows teachers to potentially conduct certain aspects of lessons ahead of time, and provides students with the opportunity to tend to their coursework in their own time if needed.
  • Efficiency: Some would say that a hybrid learning approach allows for more effective use of time. Teachers are able to share online modules or tutorials to be completed before an in-person or online class, providing students with the time needed to read through or practice certain concepts or ideas. This way, they can spend valuable class time discussing certain concepts or topics, after they’ve already developed a baseline understanding.
  • How to embrace a hybrid learning set up

    There are a few considerations that come into play when it comes to adopting a hybrid learning approach.

    First and foremost, teachers must have access to the appropriate technology needed to engage their students, including laptops or other devices, video conferencing software and equipment, and potentially smartboards or screen sharing technology. Without access to the right tools, a hybrid classroom won’t be effective.

    Secondly, schools and education facilities also need to ensure they’re investing time and resources to train teachers to use the appropriate technology within a hybrid classroom. Many teachers are comfortable teaching in-person, but unsure of how to conduct an online lesson. It’s essential that teachers are provided with the time and training resources needed to get them up to speed so that they can feel confident conducting lessons in a hybrid learning environment.

    The third consideration is to have patience and understanding, both for teachers and for students. While blended and hybrid learning is becoming more and more popular, it is a shift from traditional forms of in-person learning and will take some adjustment on behalf of both students and teachers. Introducing aspects of hybrid learning gradually – such as an online video tutorial or quiz – helps people adjust at a rate at which they are comfortable.

    Interested to hear how Airtame supports a blended or hybrid learning environment? Check out this blog, or contact us to discuss your options.

    Interested? Let’s talk.


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