The education system, in particular, had to tackle the following concerns:
- What would the education model look like?
- Will traditional education resume?
- Will online classes and their challenges continue, or are there other options?
School closures impacted over 1.2 billion children in 186 countries, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). This prompted the inclusion of online learning and hybrid learning in the future of education.
Inclusion of new learning forms
The changed situation gave a huge fillip to the edtech – or education technology – industry across the world. Numerous startups and more established firms felt they had something unique to offer for the future of learning, and the industry has thus been growing globally. Global funds have been paying close attention, and established players have been quick to acquire others to enhance their niche offerings.
The hybrid method has been gaining traction across the world:
- 60 percent of Asian schools surveyed believe that the hybrid mode is the way of the future of education
- In the US, 20 percent of school districts are is exploring the delivery of virtual learning beyond the curriculum
- In the UK, about two-thirds of teachers and senior leaders think they are more confident in using edtech than they were prior to the pandemic
Growth of hybrid learning
The shift toward new learning methods is quite like that toward digital payments in the early demonetization era. People adopted digital payments as cash was scarce and realizing its benefits, many are sticking to the new modes;
The hybrid mode combines online activities with face-to-face learning in a physical classroom setting. How it differs from blended learning is that in the latter, online instruction complements the classroom teaching in the form of additional resources; while the former sees online material replacing an element of in-person teaching and thereby offering flexibility to the learner.
So, for instance, the online learning component could include non-synchronous instructions to conduct a research visit, and the student is to decide how and when to go, what the parameters of the research will be, and then carry out work. The learner can visit the classroom on a rotation basis for discussions, doubts, group assignments, and assessments.
Effectiveness of hybrid learning
Research suggests that hybrid learning has strong potential, and when implemented effectively, it could create more engaging and flexible learning environments. They need to coordinate better and to accommodate the needs of remote and on-site students. All these factors could in combination make this more stressful for a teacher.
Consider the student perspective. New students prefer on-site instruction, while as they progress through their studies, they see the benefits of the hybrid model and are able to combine study and work more efficiently and effectively.
Pluses of hybrid learning
The hybrid model brings together the ability to personalize with the convenience of a learning environment well suited to the present phase the world is in. Here are its advantages:
- Personalized learning: Learn at a pace comfortable for the particular individual, and have effective teacher-student interactions.
- Flexibility: The student can control the pace, place, and time of learning.
- Instant feedback: This happens with live lectures and chats as well as customized assessments.