The pandemic has set the transformational change in the education system, and knowingly or unknowingly, it has accelerated remote learning to a larger extent.

Remote learning is promoted as a key aspect in the new normal scenario to facilitate the students to learn the concepts and theory at their own pace and convenience. Providing a hybrid learning system towards reskilling and upskilling one’s knowledge is the need of the day. Hybrid teaching and learning would bring in independent thinking and better pedagogical usage among teachers to make the session more interesting. From the student’s perspective, there is a high degree of flexibility in choosing topics and subjects based on their interest area. Technology facilitated hybrid teaching and learning has produced good results in the recent past and has become the new norm. Blended learning and flipped classrooms help to break the monotony of traditional chalk and talk methodology. The emergence of VR, AI, and immersive learning has created a platform for experiential learning better to understand the theoretical concepts with great practical inclination. To make students industry-ready, it is not only the conceptual idea that is sufficient; it is also the project and filed knowledge that is very important.

Few essentials of Hybrid Teaching & Learning:

2P’s

The physical and psychological wellness of teachers and students is of the utmost importance to set the education system evolving during the pandemic. Many inherent challenges are implicit and explicit to the entire teaching-learning process at present and in all levels starting from primary, middle-level to higher secondary and degree and much beyond that in all forms of continuous education. The all-round wellbeing of teachers and students is of paramount importance now.

Sustaining the teacher-student relationship

The shifting teaching-learning environment imposes a lot of challenges to the system. The most challenging one being maintaining/sustaining healthy relationships among teachers and students in remote learning scenarios of hybrid systems.

Pedagogical transformations

Classroom engagements are to be planned for hybrid mode considering the heterogeneous group of leaners. Interactive discussions, well-being checks regularly, and hand-on training could be planned for offline and independent worksheets, enabling their critical thinking to be a plane for remote sessions.

Using tech tools

Gradual exposure to minimal and appropriate technology tools is absolutely required in a hybrid set up. Be cautious of not introducing many tools at one time.

Maintaining consistent and reliable communication.

Charter a communication plan with all the appropriate stakeholders and reflect on it continuously. Effective communication is essential to have an efficient system to evolve during difficult times.

Right Mix of F2F and Online Sessions

An adequate and appropriate mix of F2F and digital sessions is also equally important for the process's effectiveness.

Focus on new edge practices.

Continuous innovation in terms of content delivery and assessment is very much required from the quality perspective.

Adapting to the culture

Change is an inevitable quick adaption to the new teaching-learning methods, and assessment is required for better sustainability.

Facilitating cooperative learning

This approach facilitates better learning outcomes by exchanging their ideas and helps the teachers and students share knowledge in a better way.

Implications of the Hybrid teaching-learning process in India

Teaching and learning methods will change” is the most familiar phrase that keeps ringing in the ears of those close to academics in the present moment. Where do we stand in terms of our preparedness to hybrid model?

The private educational institutions change themselves as technology-friendly institutions; there may be innovation in the whole education system for better sustainability. However, on the other hand, government institutions are struggling to provide continuous education. This is mainly due to infrastructural issues and poor connectivity. Developing digital skills is also equally important to have a better outcome from the hybrid model. Hybrid teaching-learning requires careful planning and execution at both the macro and micro level. New models are getting developed every day, and the abrupt transition would not work well. Socio- economical and psychological aspects and factors play a vital role in successfully implementing the hybrid model in India.

Both digital transformation and building pliability in the education system should go hand in hand for a better tomorrow. To provide a better learning experience, many private schools are innovating continuously to provide more scope for personalized learning and enhance creative thinking. Statistics also reveal an increasing trend of parents opting for stress-free, the more holistic and integrated curriculum being provided in hybrid mode. At this juncture, where technology has penetrated the education system, the institutions are also thriving to add value to the teaching-learning process. In the Indian Scenario, more focus on the following needs to be addressed:

  • How best the hybrid model would facilitate experimental and experiential learning?
  • How best the process could be made more interactive?
  • What level of flexibility could be provided in the process?
  • What kind of transformations is applicable concerning assessment?
  • What is more important content or process of learning
  • Is employability getting increased because of a hybrid model?
  • Is creative thinking getting elevated through this model?

In a nutshell, based on the availability of various primitive resources and based on the stakeholders' requirements, a careful call on the proportion of offline and online could be planned.

Conclusion

Unprecedented time has triggered the effectiveness of the hybrid teaching-learning process. However, the process needs a paradigm shift for which continuous improvement and core focus on the following aspects are required. Crafting the curriculum with a great flavour towards a learner-centric approach and customized learning would contribute to its effectiveness. Try to integrate offline and online teaching-learning experiences to enhance the system. Last but not least, provide timely feedback on both offline and online assignments. The core focus should be towards” thinking about what we can do online that enables forms of learning that expand the limits of what we can do on campus”.

References:

https://www.pearsoned.com/7-tips-from-research-for-effective-hybrid-teaching

https://www.commonsense.org/education/articles/how-to-plan-for-hybrid-teaching-and-learning

https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IJEBR-12-2019-0668

About the Author
Author: Dr. J. Meenakumari
Dr. J. Meenakumari, Prof, Head- Research & Development , ISME (www.isme.in),Bangalore An enterprising, proficient and resourceful professional with over 21 years of experience in Educational Leadership, Higher Education Administration, and Research & Innovation.

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