Hybrid Education: moving to a new educational world
The potential of contemporary hybrid or blended learning environments is confirmed by a thorough literature study on synchronous hybrid learning. This study recommends cautious optimism, but it finds that, when properly implemented, hybrid learning has the potential to produce more adaptable, engaging learning environments.
From a teacher’s perspective, the pedagogical and technological challenges are the need to adapt their teaching approaches while maintaining comparable learning standards, as well as the need to learn and develop with new technologies and learning platforms, as well as understand and evaluate their opportunities and constraints. There are more demands on the teacher’s coordination to be aware of and fulfill the needs of both on-campus and distant students. All of this was discovered to dramatically enhance a teacher’s mental load, sometimes known as hyper-zoom or hyper-focus.
Analysts looked at the experience of synchronous hybrid learning from the standpoint of the distant participant, using the word “ambiguity” to describe group membership, technological functioning, and location. This research spoke with remote students who acknowledged feeling like an outsider at times, a sensation sociologists refer to as “othering,” and indicated a wish to be treated the same as if they were physically present in the lecture hall.
Technology has the potential to both include and exclude distant learners. When technology works well, distant students may interact with instructors and students on campus in ways that would not be possible otherwise. When distant students have technical or connectivity difficulties, however, they do not feel welcomed as members of a group; instead, they feel alienated, anxious, and humiliated. Another issue raised in the study is the lower degree of engagement among remote students compared to their in-class counterparts. According to several research, distant pupils were more inactive and acted as though they were watching TV instead of attending class.
One of the causes for this was the monologue-based teaching approach and the difficulty in alerting the instructor that remote pupils wanted to respond to a question, which generated irritation and reduced participation.
Guidelines and suggestions
- To address the issues that arise in hybrid learning settings, various research offers advice and guidance on a variety of topics:
- Faculty should participate in pedagogical and technological training.
- Facilitators can assist students in raising any problems that arise throughout the session.
- Encourage students to take on the roles of “chat tracker” and “technology troubleshooter” to reduce some of the burden on the tutor and give them greater control over the learning environment. Students should be given an overview of the position as well as expectations for how to do it.
- Encourage participation by engaging students in activities that engage their minds and allow them to connect with both in-class and distant cohorts, as well as hosting conversations in which all students feel included and have equal opportunity to contribute.
- Focus on curriculum and course design alignment, as well as a broader set of criteria for shifting from instructor-centered to student-centered pedagogies (e.g., lecture) (e.g., active learning). Putting a greater emphasis on student application of material rather than instructor delivery (e.g., problem-solving)