The sudden move to remote working last year accelerated the rise of hybrid learning. With many teams enjoying the benefits of hybrid learning, here are four reasons your L&D team needs to focus on it:
1. Give Learners What They WantOne of the main benefits of hybrid learning is that learners want it. According to LinkedIn, demand for hybrid learning is on the rise. Fifty-seven percent of L&D professionals say they spend more time with online learning than they did three years ago, and 37 percent say they spend less time with in-person training. Fifty-eight percent of respondents want to learn at their own pace.
Research by the Fosway Group states that 71 percent of respondents have experienced an increased demand for digital learning from end-users and five times an increase in using virtual classrooms for high-value programs.
A recent survey found that 41.2 percent of respondents prefer a “blended or hybrid” approach to learning.
Learners are calling out for hybrid learning, and it’s always good to give them what they want.
2. Inclusivity and AccessibilityAnother key benefit of hybrid learning is its inclusivity, flexibility, and accessibility.
“Hybrid is about accessibility. It’s about inclusivity. It’s about giving people opportunities to access live events, live learning and building, and having the mindset of a session where you’ve got your learner right at the center of your design methodology,” she says.
Essentially, by facilitating immersive, synchronous learning from any location rather than treating virtual attendees as an afterthought, hybrid learning opens the door for all learners to participate equally regardless of their circumstances.
3. Reduce Digital FatigueHybrid learning can also help to reduce digital fatigue. According to a recent study in the UK, 41 percent of people are now suffering from digital fatigue as a result of remote working. The study posits that is because people are unable to chat with colleagues, collaborate on tasks, and participate in everyday activities. Without these dynamic environments, we are exposed to fewer opportunities to create learning connections in the brain.
Hybrid learning can help to reverse this trend. As Kineo states, “We must make digital learning more human, creating better learning experiences that are built on a deep empathy with the people that we’re designing them for.”
By making learning more inclusive and empathetic, Kineo adds that “you can then align learner journeys to the digital environment your people have become used to in the last year and enhance that with valuable experiences and human touchpoints.”
This kind of collaborative learning can reduce the impacts of digital fatigue, which leads to happier and more engaged learners. As such, hybrid learning combats digital fatigue by offering more inclusive, empathetic, and human learning opportunities.
4. Improve Communication and AlignmentFinally, hybrid learning can be an important tool to improve communication and alignment across teams within your business.
A recent study by Microsoft finds that with the increase in remote working, employees at home are more likely to contact current team members but less likely to get in touch with new ones.
While this is a worrying trend, Farmer explains that hybrid learning can lead to more aligned and synchronized teams, particularly if some team members work remotely and others work in the office.
“Why don’t you send out a little two-minute video to say, hey, some of you guys are going to be online. Some of you guys are going to be in the room. This is gonna be a really interesting experience. And, actually, we can get some different dynamics and different stuff going,” she states.
“It might be about preparing to buddy up with somebody who, if you're in person, who's on a platform and vice versa. So, you’ll meet new people in a different way. … We’re going to challenge your thinking in regards to how … you communicate within the learning setting to make that outcome happen.”
Farmer concludes: “There’s an element of making people accountable for their own learning here as well.”