The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift towards digitalisation across sectors and businesses. Educational institutions were nudged towards digitalising learning programmes by the lockdown and restrictions on public movement.
As the Indian traditional education system accepted the mammoth task of digitalising learning, school managements, state administrations, and the government empowered educators, students, and parents to acclimatise to the new normal.
Schools and institutions — across the private and public sectors — successfully responded to the need and created e-learning programmes to keep academic schedules going.
On the other hand, edtech platforms seized the opportunity to provide specialised tools to aid learning for students at all levels. This vested educators with the ability to continue knowledge sharing, and evolve new learning programmes.
With various technological innovations, the education system has become an ecosystem that blends traditional methods and modern techniques. Traditionally, school systems provided less flexibility, variety, real-life connect, and little scope for independent study. In the wake of the edtech revolution, technology is harnessed to reform hybrid schooling.
What is a hybrid learning model?
Imagine a teacher delivering live instructions in the classroom and online. A hybrid learning model includes asynchronous (non-live) online learning methods too. Nonetheless, the educator should create a learning plan to guide students through the hybrid course and guide them consistently.
Video conferencing, pre-recorded instructions, online discussion forums, etc., are some of the hybrid tools that have helped students grasp content better.
Moreover, asynchronous activities give the students a platform to develop self-management skills and facilitate independent learning. For example, students can take a virtual tour of any topic and create a summary of understanding independently.
To sum it up, hybrid learning is the systematic blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning.
What students get out of it
The most important part of the hybrid learning model is how it impacts students. While online classes are not new, the launch of edtech platforms has familiarised students and parents with the concept.
Looking at the bigger picture, adapting a hybrid education system facilitates blended learning, where learners experience traditional classroom activities along with online learning. It also promotes independent learning, through which they get an opportunity and space to present their ideas, understanding, and to explore personal interests.
For example, quick online quizzes and grading helps learners to reflect on the feedback given by the instructors and rework them.
However, learners must learn social skills and interact with their surroundings for development and growth. With a model that emphasises the online aspects, the social simulation that the traditional learning environment provides, especially to schoolgoers, is missed.
Several studies have indicated that spending more time indoors and greater screen time affects self-growth and leads to psycho-social problems, including cyberbullying and internet addiction.
Impact on the organisation
The hybrid model is evolving, and there are some aspects yet to be addressed, such as streamlining processes, digitalising related departments, etc. It is a significant responsibility for organisations and management to build and implement a sustainable ecosystem.
Organisations will need to increase training overheads by teaching instructors and educators to plan and organise a hybrid course. Internet connectivity — an important factor for both learners and instructors — will be vital for overall benefit.
In the end, the most important task is to choose the right digital tool to fully benefit from the hybrid model.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)