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What Is the Hybrid Learning Approach?

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If you’re in the world of corporate training, professional learning development, or human resource, then you might be thinking about going back to the corporate classroom.

As our country innovates and evolves, we want you to be familiar with a popular learning strategy that many of us are trying out with success: hybrid learning.

Definition of Hybrid Learning

Hybrid learning, also referred to as blended learning, is an approach to education that combines online educational materials with traditional in-person classroom methods. It’s not fully virtual nor is it fully digital. It requires the physical presence of both teacher and learner while providing the learner some control over time and pace.

The virtual elements of a hybrid learning model should complement the in-person ones. Hybrid should not mean an in-person lecture followed by hours of digital homework. Hybrid learning allows for a unique reimagining of how we do corporate training and education.

Using Hybrid Learning for L&D Success

When it comes to effective learning and development (L&D), professionals know that organizations benefit most from focusing on developing soft skills and the overall knowledge of business acumen.

This is true whether your training session meets online or in person, but there are some added benefits to going hybrid that we think makes it more than worthwhile to explore.

According to a report released by IBM, “Companies who utilize e-learning tools and strategies have the potential to boost productivity by up to 50 percent. For every $1 that a company spends, it’s estimated that they can receive $30 worth of productivity.” Imagine the effect on your company if everyone was able to boost productivity by 50 percent.

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How Can I Use Hybrid Learning in the Workplace?

Hybrid learning is a great way to make virtual meetings more fun. When we were forced online in March 2020, many of us experienced virtual learning fatigue. It was so impersonal to try to conduct conversations while sitting at our home desks looking at a screen. Many of us turned our cameras off and experienced a brief moment of relief. With the camera off, we can stretch, grab a cup of coffee, and shake out the blues. But the big downfall to this is engagement.

The temptation to check our phones in virtual meetings is a hard one to resist. How many of your learners are engaged when their camera is off? Even when it is on? Going purely virtual was a strain for many and left us craving something a bit more interesting.

The Solution

Instead of having everyone log in to a Zoom or Google Meet platform, with hybrid learning methods you are free to explore creative alternatives.

Many sites provide support, lessons and other resources for educators using a hybrid learning approach. These are typically designed as online resources where educators can create fun and interactive lessons, share Q&A results, and come together virtually as a community.

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Some hybrid learning sites have the option to add a gamification element. Even adults can enjoy some online games while learning at the same time.

Remember, Hybrid Doesn’t Mean Fully Virtual

The above options are great for making the virtual component to your learning more engaging, but we have to remember to include the in-person experience into our mix.

Let's take a look at some benefits of the in-person corporate classroom:

  • Focus on content (not checking your phone every few minutes under the table)
  • Big discussions in-person provide the opportunity for meaningful dialogue, discussion, and debate
  • Breakout groups can be formed to provide a social environment that being in a Zoom call doesn’t quite match

Safety Information When you do return to the classroom, it’s important to promote behaviors that reduce COVID-19’s spread. According to the CDC, organizations moving to in-person learning should follow and promote behaviors that help keep everyone safe. This includes:

  • Frequent hand washing and surface cleaning
  • Maintaining social distancing of at least 6 feet
  • Wearing masks

When you do see each other, make sure everyone follows these guidelines and promotes healthy behavior.

Next Steps: 5 Tips for Balancing Your L&D Mix

To help with the above information, we’ve put together an informative infographic that will have even more tips to achieving your hybrid learning success. It includes five tips for balancing your L&D mix. Click here to download the infographic. (Hint, it will look great on your virtual corkboard.) Happy learning!

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