Summer is coming to an end and yet another academic year is starting, which poses new questions about the state of hybrid learning. More and more students and lecturers have been able to get back into classrooms, which no one would challenge as a positive thing; but what does this mean for the future of hybrid learning? Is it dead, or just getting started?
DTEN’s General Manager for EMEA, Doug Remington, believes hybrid learning is definitely here to stay.
“Hybrid learning needs to be seen as an enhancement and not as a threat to classroom learning,” he says.
As we start a new academic year, mostly free from pandemic restrictions, a number of different challenges face colleges and universities that can threaten in-the-room education.
Recent economic impacts, creating a cost-of-living crisis, may affect students’ and teachers’ ability to physically make it into the classroom; and the spiraling cost of energy may cause some institutions to reduce classroom hours or eliminate physical presence entirely. According to Remington, Hybrid Learning has the potential to be part of the solution to combat these new challenges.
“The ability to bring the world’s most inspiring lecturers, teachers, and speakers into the room for anyone, anywhere to be able to learn from, provides the greatest example of the power of hybrid learning,” he says.
“We are really just getting started in realising the full potential of hybrid education, and I believe there are many other significant developments in store.”
When opting for hybrid learning, the ultimate goal should be reaching a state of inclusion and equity for every student, whether they’re physically present in the classroom or joining in remotely.
Remington highlights that technology is just one piece of the puzzle that needs to be considered when making the move to Hybrid learning.
“It’s clearly not just about the technology, but also about adopting new forms of content, new ways of teaching, and making sure the learning spaces are adapted to support and optimise hybrid learning,” he explains.
“If shortcuts are taken to implementing a Hybrid approach, the risk is to diminish the experience of those learning in the room, as well as for those remotely.”
Simplifying the Technology
To make hybrid learning successful, there’s a lot to consider, which isn’t easy with limited resources and without having the proper technological background.
“One of the main reasons that colleges and universities globally are choosing to work with DTEN is that so many AV and video conferencing solutions out there are over complicated,” Remington says.
“We find that the combination of simplicity while delivering comprehensive hybrid learning features is a key USP for our clients.”
By simplifying the technology and hardware and making it easier to set up, use, and manage, educational institutions can direct more budget and resources to other areas requiring attention, such as room design, creation of new content, implementation of new processes, and training. This helps ensure a successful transition for teachers and students, to reap the benefits of the new approach.
By the looks of it, not only is hybrid learning here to stay, but it can also be a huge help in elevating and enabling education for those unable to physically attend classes.
“When done well, hybrid learning can open new opportunities to enrich education,” Remington concludes.
“It has huge potential to improve inclusivity for those in a more challenging position financially, geographically and who may have restrictions due to health conditions.”