By Zainab Tajammal & Stefanie Panke
For instructional designers effective hybrid learning settings are the new frontier. By providing a hybrid option, students are able to join class from home or participate in person. This level of flexibility has been crucial for many learners and instructors alike during the Covid-19 pandemic. Li et al. (2020) define hybrid learning as a blended approach to education that can include flipped classrooms, synchronous online learning, outcome-based education, and some face to face interactions. Raes et al. (2019) provide a similar definition of a blended learning environment where both remote learners and in-person learners can obtain a similar educational experience.
With hybrid learning on the rise, what are some of the issues students and instructors face?
- Raes et al. (2019) provide insight into a number of challenges experienced by both teachers and students in hybrid learning environment. One of the challenges was that teachers were required to change their teaching style significantly. They need to be able to provide a similar high-quality learning experience for both remote and in person students. Raes et al. (2019) highlight that the educational experiences of students are highly dependent on the technological competence of the teacher.
- Raes et al., (2019), also found that students have a hard time staying engaged in remote learning settings. Students attending remotely were described as “behaving as if they were watching TV,” (Raes et al., 2019, pp. 283). Other problems include: poorer class performance, feeling far away from their learning institution, and poor self-discipline.
- According to Doghonadze et al., (2021), some common problems in hybrid learning included unstable internet connections, inadequate computer labs, lack of computers/laptops, and general technical problems. Doghonadze et al., (2021), also identified feelings of isolation as a significant problem among students.
- Skulmowski and Rey (2020), found that many universities did not have the resources to make the shift to an online learning environment. Additionally, they found that online learning was not as effective when students did not interact with each other.
What are solutions to the problem of low engagement that is common in hybrid or remote learnin?
- Raes (2022), found that students were far more engaged when their online learning experience was interactive. For example, live streams were found to have the lowest engagement out of all the different presentation styles of online educational content. In contrast, students who directly interacted with their teacher stated that they felt less alone in the classroom. In large classrooms tools such as polls, or other activities that encouraged engagement were important to increase participation.
- Similarly, Li et al., (2020) state that interaction played a key role in building a better learning environment. According to Li et al., (2020), students who turned their cameras on and engaged in class had a better learning experience.
- Ghannam and Chan (2021), found that hybrid learning was very useful for team building and project-based learning. In their case study, 320 students enrolled in a team building and project-based learning module that featured a number of interactive online learning experiences. After completing the module, 83% of the students who participated in the course reported they had a satisfactory experience and learned practical skills (Ghannam and Chan, 2021).
To learn more about hybrid challenges and opportunities, read Allie Alayan’s review of ‘Hybrid-Flexible Course Design: Implementing Student-Directed Hybrid Classes’ and be on the lookout for an upcoming post on hybrid learning settings.
Zainab is a psychology and communication studies double major at UNC Chapel Hill. Her interests include writing, statistics, and research. She is particularly passionate about research and how it can be applied in fields like psychology and education.
Aaraj, S., Farooqi, F., Saeed, N., & Khan, S. (2022). Impact of COVID Pandemic and Hybrid teaching on Final year MBBS students’ End of clerkship Exam performance. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 38(1), 113.
Aristika, A., & Juandi, D. (2021). The Effectiveness of Hybrid Learning in Improving of Teacher-Student Relationship in Terms of Learning Motivation. Emerging Science Journal, 5(4), 443-456.
Ghannam, R., & Chan, C. (2021). Teaching Undergraduate Students to Think Like Real-World Systems Engineers: A Technology-Based Hybrid Learning Approach. arXiv preprint arXiv:2111.13559.
Gutiérrez-Braojos, C., Montejo-Gamez, J., Marin-Jimenez, A., & Campaña, J. (2019). Hybrid learning environment: Collaborative or competitive learning? Virtual Reality, 23(4), 411-423.
Doghonadze, N., Dolidze, T., & Vasadze, N. (2021). Face-to-Face, Hybrid and Online English as a Foreign Language Learning Efficiency in Higher Education (Georgian and Italian students’ views). Journal of Education in Black Sea Region, 7(1), 120-143.
Li, Q., Li, Z., & Han, J. (2021). A hybrid learning pedagogy for surmounting the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in the performing arts education. Education and Information Technologies, 26(6), 7635-7655.
Raes, A., Detienne, L., Windey, I., & Depaepe, F. (2020). A systematic literature review on synchronous hybrid learning: Gaps identified. Learning Environments Research, 23(3), 269-290.
Raes, A. (2022). Exploring Student and Teacher Experiences in Hybrid Learning Environments: Does Presence Matter? Postdigital Science and Education, 4(1), 138-159.
Skulmowski, A., & Rey, G. D. (2020). COVID‐19 as an accelerator for digitalization at a German university: Establishing hybrid campuses in times of crisis. Human behavior and emerging technologies, 2(3), 212-216.