Pandemic has taught us so much. And being able to study no matter the conditions is one of the most important lessons we were given. And we indeed passed it. While at first, it was harder to get accustomed to the new way of learning, now we find it easy.
However, if you find yourself in the situation of having to decide whether to continue with your hybrid learning or go back to the in-person learning or if you just want to know the plusses and minuses a hybrid education has, we put up a list below.
What is a hybrid learning type?
Knowing more about hybrid learning and its characteristics will help you understand its advantages and disadvantages.
A hybrid learning education offers you the opportunity to have virtual classes, and in-person lessons represent only a tiny part of the curricula.
However, each hybrid school has its curricula and its split as far as the courses concerns. For example, Spark International High School is a proper hybrid learning type as it has online learning, e-learning and in-person classes. But there can also be a mix between online and in-person courses.
Just as in-person classes are not fit for a professional athlete, for example, hybrid learning may not fit for a person who needs to communicate more.
Advantages of hybrid learning
For starters, let’s focus on the advantages of hybrid learning:
1. Flexibility – the flexibility hybrid learning offers an excellent advantage for those who need free and have a busy social schedule. It provides them with the option to study and arrange their courses around their program and when they are at their best-assimilating information. A great idea of Steve Magness regarding work can be applied to learning as well.
2. Study at your own pace. More than just scheduling according to the time when you assimilate better, you can choose hybrid learning if you want to study at your own pace. There are no strings attached to how much time you should be giving to that specific course to be able to understand it accordingly.
3. Prepare you for the online classes you may be taking in the future. Both universities and companies take online classes as part of their degree program or training sessions. Thus, having experience in online learning can help you stay on top of the coursework.
4. Access to the courses materials anytime from anywhere. As long as physical presence is not needed, you can be wherever you want and continue with your class.
5. Review courses as many times as you wish. Because you have access to your course materials, you can also open them as many times as you want. Thus, if you have difficulties understanding the first time, you can come back and retake it.
6. Reduced student absenteeism. When students cannot participate in in-person classes, and we know that this often happens with teenagers, they can participate remotely and don’t miss out on the course. It is an underappreciated advantage of hybrid learning.
7. Access to a global community of students. If you choose an international hybrid high school or university, you can connect with colleagues all over the world. This will improve your global awareness.
Disadvantages of hybrid learning
1. Need for strong organisational skills. For sure, we all need some improvements with our organisational skills, but online classes need a certain degree of organising to have a high ROI.
How to solve
Firstly, you have to make sure you ask for help. This can be solved with the help of a parent and tutor that can show you how to organise and prioritise appropriately. With time, it will come naturally to you.
2. Technological updates. Almost everyone has a computer at home, but sometimes it may not meet the security requirements that an online school asks. Moreover, we need a stable and reliable internet connection. On top of this, hybrid classes work with specific software and depending on the choice of studies, you may have to buy that software.
How to solve
Ask for all the details regarding the school and its needs. This will help you understand if you meet the requirements r if you need any updates and make them. There are not so many, but sometimes they can be costly.
3. No internet access. Despite being in 2022, there are countries with no stable internet connection and people who do not own a computer, even though they can use one. Many of these countries can only access education through online programs as there are no schools in their area. I must admit that this is both a pro and cons.
How to solve
Many international programs work towards this – one of them is the Global Shapers, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. Through their actions, they try to make people aware of this situation and do what is in their power to help – donate computers, money, raise awareness. Whatever you do, is a step forward.
4. Lower interaction with peers. This is a fact, but this does not mean that there is no interaction or that it should affect the learning process.
How to solve
The well prepared hybrid schools have a certain degree of hours that you can reach out to your peers according to your own needs and schedule. Moreover, off class social interactions can help you more than you realise. They can create that bond that you cannot develop in a formal class where a teacher needs to pay attention to many students.
5. Lower online participation. Some students may think that if there is an online class, they do not need to pay attention and participate. They do just what they need to pass the course.
How to solve
Teachers of hybrid schools and universities can shape their courses to create engagement that helps students learn something from the class and do more than the basic requirements. You can do it through assemblies, quizzes, immersion in real-life experiences.
6. Higher responsibility for parents. This may be true as most parents are also working from home and organising your child is another responsibility. But, the ROI is also to be considered – more time spent with your child, a close look at his studying program and his focus, less commuting.
How to solve
Like hybrid learning, staying organised can help you with your child and your program. Think of the saved time from commuting to and from school. This is a great time to ensure your child has everything he needs for his online classes.
7. Higher responsibility for students. The parents’ responsibility cannot compare with the students’ responsibility while studying online. However, this may be a good thing as many students like to show they are responsible and taking responsibility for their learning shows them we trust them as parents, teachers and schools. And what better way to create engagement than showing we trust their decisions?
How to solve
If you feel like your child sees the responsibility for following a hybrid school as something hard, show them the good parts and assure them you are there for every step. Moreover, their teachers are there whenever they need them.
Unlike what it may sound like, it can help increase the unity between you, your teachers and your colleagues. This may be because everyone tries harder to belong to a community, be understood, help and thus create a stronger relationship.
Rest assured that there is no correct answer to your question of whether to continue with hybrid learning or go back to in-person education, whether hybrid learning is good or bad, or whether in-person learning is better than hybrid learning.
Hybrid learning has a significant advantage that no other online learning does – it combines online, e-learning and in-person knowledge. IT helps you stay connected, enables you to improve your technical skills, allows you to interact with your colleagues and mentor easier online, and helps you learn about staying organised and taking on responsibility for your education.
There are so many advantages that we see regarding hybrid learning.
However, not everyone has the skills nor can make an effort to develop these extra skills for the online learning process.
The answer exclusively depends on each person and their needs.