The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust instructors in the corporate and academic worlds into a new normal where nothing seems normal. In this article, I’ll explain how concretely defining the hybrid learning model can bring stability to instructors and learners alike.
With expansive growth in education technology over the past several decades, online learning was already on a swift trajectory. Still, nobody expected virtual learning to be forced upon the masses so quickly and ubiquitously. The pandemic turned the education ecosystem upside down. To be honest, the eLearning industry wasn’t prepared for the tsunami of schools, community organizations, and corporations that would have to rely on it. Flaws in legacy systems and disparities in how people learn online were exposed.
At first, instructors just needed to “get through” in the short term, and for many, that’s all their online learning tools were equipped to handle. They essentially had a delivery system to push out the curriculum and perform some basic assessments. Organizations used Zoom and other technologies to try to make up for the loss of in-person communication and classroom time, but the combination of multiple disparate, fragmented solutions and their inherent shortcomings became obvious. Learning and adapting to this web of technologies made it difficult for instructors and administrators to deliver remarkable learning engagement experiences. Many struggle to support, integrate, standardize, and use these disparate systems –and, collectively, they add up in cost. In short, what virtual learning promised was a far cry from what learners could get in the classroom or on the job, and learning loss was real.
In the new normal, hybrid learning is here to stay
Despite these recent experiences, there are plenty of reasons for optimism about the future of hybrid learning, where online and in-person instruction can become a seamless and effective overall pedagogical strategy. A recent study by Allied Market Research and Macro Connect shows that schools can save nearly $2,400 per student by incorporating hybrid learning, putting pressure on school districts to continue embracing online education. To boot, with the uncertain future of COVID-19, the education industry demands long-term solutions that are built to keep learners engaged to minimize learning loss. The question is: how?
There are lots of ideas out there
Over the past several years, players in the eLearning space have incorporated technology in creative ways to improve learning engagement experiences and outcomes. Each of these advancements targets some important aspect of learning science. Incorporating artificial intelligence drives the upskill path of an employee, exposing and recommending courses according to one’s position, department, existing competencies, and more. Micro learning modules drive engagement and skill acquisition through bursts of the precise information and demonstrations one needs to make a new concept click. Reporting and analytics show instructors what’s working and who needs more support.
These and a litany of other features like improved user interfaces, gamification, and immersive video capture and content all help push the eLearning industry in the right direction. That said, no technology can transform the fundamentals of learning. To create something that’s truly game-changing, we must leverage this technology in a way that accommodates the learner in an equitable, engaging, and effective manner. The new normal is to provide a learning engagement platform so that the learner and instructor can engage where, when, how and what they want to learn & teach.
turning is a thought leader in engaged learning
At turning, we’ve spent our time researching and thinking about what a winning learning engagement platform should be: a platform that takes advantage of cutting-edge technology successfully by adhering to and accentuating the tried-and-true elements of education that works. By distilling all this information, we’ve identified three fundamental principles to define authentic hybrid learning.
e3 = equity, evidence and engagement
Whether someone is standing next to an instructor or sitting at a laptop thousands of miles away, the learning experience for everyone should be the same. It needs to be just as easy to ask a question, participate in a discussion, or collaborate with a classmate on an assignment online as it is in person. Even if someone is learning asynchronously, they should have the same access as a learner who takes the course live. Hybrid learning should accommodate any of these needs and more -on one platform. The key to equitable learning is equal opportunity and equal access for all.
equity = A platform that is geographically agnostic and accessible for learner and instructor.
A hybrid learning engagement platform should be committed to empirical measurements that provide the information instructors rely on to deliver the best outcome for all learners. Assessments are important, but metrics are so much more than test scores. In fact, real-time analytics demonstrates a learner’s comprehension long before assessments. A robust hybrid learning platform gives instructors the opportunity to leverage personalized feedback along the way. It must proactively alert an instructor to areas where a learner needs more attention.
evidence = Rich analytics and diagnostics
Learning must be engaging when done right. We all have that one math, art, or English teacher who made a difference because we looked forward to their class, even though the material may otherwise have been dry. A hybrid learning platform should provide instructors and learners alike with an easy-to-use interface with options for gamification, multimedia authoring, capture, curation, live instruction, and more to drive remarkable engagement experiences. Any solution that doesn’t allow for easy access to engaging content can put learners at a disadvantage.
engagement = Remarkable experiences at every level.
Applying turning’s formula for effective hybrid learning
We’ve built our business around innovating hybrid learning solutions committed to equity, evidence, and engagement.Whether you’re part of a school, business, community, or government organization, our Dojo 360 platform is designed to deliver successful outcomes to your learners. We’ve got industry-leading accessibility features that exceed WCAG standards and a seamless environment in-person and online, putting control and choice in the hands of the learner and instructor to make the learning experience equitable for everyone. With real-time reporting and visualization along with the ability to assign and assess individually or across the board, our platform can provide evidence to instructors whether learners participate synchronously or asynchronously. Comprehensive engagement tools ensure learning on Dojo 360 is entertaining and engaging.
The team at turning wants you to experience the improvements we’ve made in hybrid teaching, training, and learning for yourself. We’re confident you’ll love Dojo 360 for its allegiance to the three Es, not to mention its ability to integrate seamlessly with leading LMS platforms, Moodle, D2L, Canvas, Blackboard, and others.
Building a hybrid learning platform around equity, evidence, and engagement changes the learning game. It’s something desperately needed in today’s environment. No matter what solution you choose, make sure it meets the three key principles of authentic hybrid learning and enables remarkable learning engagement for the learner and instructor.
I encourage you to signup for a free trial of Dojo 360 today and start your e3 hybrid learning journey with Turning.