Many schools and organizations are strongly considering the use of hybrid learning – where online resources are used to replace the parts of instruction and/or training that would usually be delivered face-to-face. Whether in an academic classroom, an on-boarding program, employee training in new technologies or services, etc., hybrid learning methods can help increase social distancing, save the organization money, and present some distinct advantages to the process of instruction.
Some of the key components of a well designed and effective hybrid learning system to consider include:
- a learning management system (LMS) – an LMS provides a virtual site for individualized student assignments, instructional resources, links to online curricula, and a communications hub for students and instructors and for student collaborations. It can also serve as a communications tool between the classroom and parents or supervisors. It’s important to identify your organizational and training objectives before you start the LMS selection process, as LMS vendors typically cater to different consumer groups. LMS pricing models include subscription, licensing and freemium (free for basic features only);
- individualized learning – the virtual platform provides teachers/instructors with greater opportunities to individualize their instruction for each student;
- project-based learning (PBL) – with individualized learning in place, the student is afforded a greater chance of designing their own projects. A government employee, for example, could apply a new system to their own work, rather than using an imaginary demo project; and,
- teacher-created video – teachers can video record part of their lessons allowing students to view them at their own pace, often before the class is in session. This also frees up classroom time for more individualized instruction and student feedback and interaction.