What’s changed for facilitators when designing and planning a hybrid learning solution?
In the second of our hybrid learning series, our CLO considers what facilitators should do when designing and planning a hybrid course
In this article, the second of our hybrid learning series, our CLO Lorraine Taylor, builds on her key takeaways from the last 15 months and focuses on new design considerations when creating learning solutions for clients with hybrid workforces.
What's really changed, and how new is hybrid learning? For me, it's all about inclusion. Learners in the room must have an equal opportunity to learn from their peers dialling in and vice versa.
So, how do we provide this equal, inclusive learning experience? It's a challenge but not insurmountable! A facilitator's instinct is to scan for and react to participants' verbal/non-verbal signals. A learner's instinct isn't much different; reading the room to decipher how best to connect with the trainer and other participants is also a natural response. Of course, we've got better at doing this when we're all dialling in remotely, but how will we fare when some are on-site and others not? The upshot is our facilitators need to design and plan differently to deliver successful hybrid learning experiences.
Below is my checklist so that none of our participants feel excluded because of their location:
Which comes first, programme design or available technology? At Euromoney Learning we're tech-agnostic, so, where budgets allow, match the tech to the programme rather than designing the programme to suit the tech. Our learners' experience comes first so select the hardware that adds value to our trainers' chosen learning activities.
Conference Platform: be guided by our clients' preferred platform and provide access to relevant software and tools to create the best-shared learning experience.
Welcome: whether it's a virtual entrance and registration that mimics the real-life venue, or a shared on-screen welcome message, make all participants feel part of the programme from the minute they join and ensure they have the same access to their instructor.
Participation: encourage remote learners to switch on their cameras. Position our cameras, microphones, and screens to encourage everyone to speak up.
BYOD: ask all on-site learners to bring their devices to contribute to shared documents and online collaboration – Padlet's a great tool!
Interactivity: guarantee consistency by using Kahoot! for online interactive quizzes and software such as CameraTag for video roleplays.
Q&A/Plenary Discussion: ask participants to interact with each other and the facilitator in the same way – e.g. ask people to post questions online for inclusion in a follow-up discussion.
Replicate a hybrid networking environment that doesn't feel forced. Encourage all participants to have their lunch and breaks together. Invite on-site participants to a different room and encourage those dialing in to join.
Schedule time within the live sessions for networking bearing in mind it may mean less time for formal input and practice.
In conclusion, this evolving hybrid world encourages learning providers to enhance their existing solution design and better plan participant engagement. Rather than being completely new, hybrid learning is a natural progression resulting from digital transformation, that brings with it an opportunity to revisit and enhance our blended learning approach.
What would you add to my checklist? To help answer this, here are the questions that prompted this article:
Where do you stand on how new is hybrid learning?
How will you encourage inclusive learning as we advance?
If you want to learn more about our approach and how we design our programmes for a hybrid learning environment, please fill in the form below.