In simple terms, it is a learning approach that combines face to face instruction with virtual training, engaging a number of people who attend learning from a place that it’s convenient for them, with a focus on multimedia-enhanced content. This is not a new practice, it has been in place for years to meet the training needs of different organisations, such as companies with international teams spread all over the world who need to attend a specific training.
However, the new reality imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the usage of a hybrid learning approach, allowing people to have access to learning in the context of a mass remote working. “Hybrid learning is all about blending those two experiences together. The experience should be of the same quality for all learners, regardless of where they’re learning from.” (source)
How is this approach beneficial? On the one hand, it can drastically reduce costs, as you do not have to bring everyone into one place across countries and states, to manage logistic costs and venue hire. On the other hand, it has a lasting impact on the employees’ development, as with the use of technology they can have long-term access to learning resources, rather than just going through them during the face to face training. However, this approach might be challenging if the people managing it do not have the facilitation skills needed to keep up with it.
How do you start? We’d say with the mindset. As stated above, you should not see the training process as either an online or an in-person approach, but rather as a shared learning experience. This might be challenging indeed, as there are many aspects to be taken into consideration, such as how can you leverage technology to not only reach the people attending online, but also the ones present in the classroom?, or how will you foster collaboration among all the participants?
Basically, the new mindset oriented towards a complete and shared learning experience should define every step of the learning process, starting from the design of the content, to the actual development of it, with a focus on the choice of technology and tools, and all the way up to the actual facilitation of the learning experience.
Here are a few Dos and Don'ts stated in the Harvard Business Publishing, which can act as a guideline for the planning of the hybrid training:
From companies to Universities, from institutions to content creation companies, we’ve contributed to the implementation of a hybrid learning approach, with a focus on the learners’ needs and on the organizational objectives.
Knolyx is an eLearning platform that gives clients the possibility of deciding how training is delivered, with a series of approaches to choose from: blended learning, adaptive learning, social learning, micro-learning. The organisations can thus use a hybrid learning approach to make the most of their content and to maximise the learning outcomes of the courses. Moreover, the platform encourages connectivity and collaboration between learners, which is an essential aspect of a hybrid learning approach.
Some (final) thoughts
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