The world has changed a lot since the rise of technology, and with it, the meaning of the classroom has changed too. Although traditional classroom learning has not gone obsolete, there is a lot of focus on online and self-paced learning as well. The truly remarkable institutions have utilized the best features of classroom and online learning and amalgamate them in the form of blended or hybrid learning methods. As the name suggests the blended learning is a modular learning method where the learning or instructional design tries to strike a balance between self-paced online learning and face-to-face classroom learning. The integration of online modules in the session make the learning-rich in information and the self-paced feature helps the students go through the learning as many time as they need to ensure the proper learning is taking place. The doubts that are left in the minds of the learners can be cleared away by physical or virtual instructor-led training. Here is how the top business schools such as ICFAI Business School (IBS) have used hybrid learning to create a conducive environment for management education.
Integration with the LMS necessary
One of the major pre-requisite that is faced by business and educational organizations before shifting to the hybrid and blended is the usage of a Learning Management System or LMS to host the online modules. The LMS can further include a link to the recording of the virtual session that the student can go through even if they could not attend the classes live. The learning material created by the faculty member can also be kept on the LMS platform for the students to refer to while they are going through these sessions. The e-books can also be kept online so that the student is not reliant on the physical books while they are going through various coursework. The LMS can also use gamification aspects such as badges and progress bars to keep the learner updated along with their progress on the course and the milestones that they reach, providing a sense of achievement and motivation. ICFAI Business School (IBS)have their own LMS Quicforce which has been in service since 2012 and provides an effective way to manage the curriculum while the students are going through their management education. In addition to the above pointers, the students can also be sent notifications and important announcements through Quicforce, so that students take note of all academic and other events.
Academic benefits of Hybrid Learning
The benefits of hybrid learning extend well beyond the management of the learning and can be evident in the academic success of the students and the institution as well. Some of the key benefits of hybrid learning in academics can be as below.
- Flexible learning – Whether we believe it or not, all of us have different ways of learning. Teaching everyone, in the same way, may not meet the learning needs of everyone, but with blended and hybrid learning, the institute or school has a wider option of tools to meet all learning styles. The students can also utilize the time they want and cover the topics at their own pace.
- Better time utilization – One of the popular ways of learning in the modern hybrid learning courses is to ask the students to go through the online courses first and then proceed with the classroom interaction. This way the time of the classroom can be better utilized rather than reading text or watching learning videos.
- Collaborative learning – With the inclusion of the Learning Management System, the teacher can easily make groups, assign activities, discuss case studies, and interact freely ensuring better individualized attention. It also makes it easier for the students to connect after class and share learnings.
- Variety of formats – The learning can be reinforced better through online quizzes and other activities since they may be great for revision and retention of the students. There are also several tools such as project work and questionnaires to connect their classroom learning to real lives and industries.
Hybrid learning advantage during the Pandemic
The recent pandemic has confined many students to their homes, with no means for them to attend instructor-led classes physically. Under these circumstances, hybrid learning has come up as a huge help in ensuring that the campus interactions and other soft components can be managed through online modules. Familiarity with hybrid learning can also give the students an edge when they join their industry of choice since hybrid and blended learning is practiced in most corporates in modern times. The students can also pick up on the many necessities of developing their digital citizenship and learning essential soft skills such as email communications. The hybrid learning model also empowers the students to take ownership of their learning and ensure that they can take proactive actions to facilitate their academics better. The Quicforce LMS and the ICFAI Business School (IBS)faculty who utilize modern techniques in optimizing the learning in the classroom and beyond, go a long way in developing the business leaders of tomorrow educated through hybrid learning methods.