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Hybrid Learning: The Ultimate Guide

Hybrid learning is one of the most effective methods of training your hybrid workforce.

Why?

Because it enables your organization to deliver training to remote employees and in-person alike. Instructors can also mix up the type of learning environment or materials used to ensure learners are engaging with their training and getting the most out of it.

According to studies, employees in a hybrid learning course had considerably greater learning scores and satisfaction rates than learners in traditional face-to-face classes. 

Participants in hybrid learning courses also reported a better feeling of community compared to learners in in-person training sessions.

What is hybrid learning?

Hybrid learning, also known as blended learning, is an educational technique that mixes online learning materials with traditional in-person training methods. It's neither entirely virtual nor entirely digital. Both the instructors and employees can be physically present, and the learner has to have some control over time and pace.

Benefits of hybrid learning

Providing your learners with a mix of materials, settings, and training methods will yield better training results compared to traditional means.

Here’s some examples of hybrid learning benefits for your organization:

Convenient to learners and instructors

Hybrid learning allows instructors and employees to use a mix of onsite and remote learning to complete training courses. Instructors can set up asynchronous training ahead of time with the correct materials. Employees can then consume that learning content when they are able to at their own pace.

Both parties can then come together during a synchronous training session to practice what they’ve learned.

Flexible learning environment

Some employees learn better on their own, while others prefer an instructor at their disposal helping guide them through the learning process. Instructors can lead the training session in-person, from home, or through a pre-made curriculum.

Either way, the combinations learning professionals can come up with to properly train employees is way more flexible than the traditional single-training approach.

Better time management

Hybrid learning benefits the organization as a whole when providing a mix of online or in-person training. Employees can consume learning materials after hours at their own pace without cutting into working hours.

Training can also be set during normal working hours either in a conference room, at the employee’s desk, or even working from home.

Learner and instructor interaction

Unlike a full asynchronous learning experience, hybrid learning allows for both the learner and instructor to interact during training. This synchronous learning style can be throughout the entire learning process or during certain exercises.

Continued learning

Since hybrid learning is a mix of instructor-led and remote learning techniques, it provides employees with a continual learning. Employees will have access to asynchronous learning materials online, or can join synchronous training sessions with their instructor.

More effective learning style

Traditional and direct training sessions force employees to attend in person, with an instructor, during a preset time, using ineffective training materials, in hopes they engage and learn new skills. 

However, hybrid learning allows your organization to deliver training in the most effective way based on your employees learning styles.

Personalized employee learning

Besides delivering in-person and remote training to your employees, hybrid learning makes it easier for instructors to personalize the learning experience for each individual, group, department, or location.

For example, using Continu provides instructors easy tools to create a personalized learning approach for learners. This in turn boosts engagement, discussions, skills learned, and course completion rates.

Increased engagement

Mixing up the types of training, learning materials, and setting gives instructors a variety of hybrid learning methods to choose from. Some courses might require collaborative learning or group discussions between learners. Each form of learning that requires interaction between learners will increase employee engagement tremendously.

Increased engagement during training is a great indicator of whether your training is effective and sparking interest.

Expanded access to knowledge

By uploading your asynchronous learning materials online, employees will have 24/7 access to training resources. That means learners can read, watch, and interact with on-demand training content or essential skills-based learning assets whenever they want.

Doing so unlocks continued and self learning capabilities.

Why is hybrid learning important?

Hybrid learning offers flexibility in terms of availability. In other words, hybrid learning enables the student to access the materials from anywhere at any time while enjoying the benefits of face-to-face support and instruction.

Using hybrid learning in the corporate workplace

Hybrid learning is a great way to make training or learning fun and interactive for both in-person and remote employees. Every employee has their own preferred learning style and certain training topics require different methods of delivery.

Forcing employees to learn or train a specific way will lower engagement and course completion rates while also affecting their ability to learn new skills.

For example, a typical Zoom meeting where an instructor simply goes through slides and reads off every single word might not be effective. But, implementing interactive, individualized topics, and sparking conversations will allow both in-person and remote employees to engage with the training while retaining more of what they’ve learned.

That’s why instructors need to select the right hybrid learning model that’s the ideal fit for whatever topic is being trained.

Hybrid learning models

For a company with a hybrid workforce of in-person and remote employees, a single learning strategy might not cut it. That’s why instructors have come up with a variety of hybrid learning models your organization can choose from to deliver learning resources effectively.

Let’s check out each hybrid learning model in detail:

Hybrid flexible or Hyflex

This hybrid learning model is ideal for enterprise companies that have a large amount of both in-person and remote learners. The instructor starts the training with a lecture, video, or curriculum outline. Then interacts with each group separately for roughly 15 at a time. This gives a fair amount of instructor-led training to both parties.

Asynchronous lab

Creates an asynchronous lab-style learning environment. Meaning the instructor develops training materials ahead of time without the need to be present during the learning process. Learners consume these materials on their own time with work hours used to implement these new skills.

Asynchronous remote instructor

Similar to an asynchronous lab but the instructor is not physically present at the training site. They prepare learning materials, monitor both in-person and remote employees training progress, and offer post-training face-to-face interactions.

Digital learning stations

Learners work through a series of learning stations created ahead of time by the instructor. These stations contain certain parts of the overall training course. Employees can learn in-person or through Zoom breakout rooms. The instructor can set variable amounts of time and stations.

Interactive flipped

Instructors provide interactive slideshows to learners (both in-person and online) to complete asynchronously. Once the learners complete the interactive presentation, they discuss what they’ve learned synchronously in the presence of the instructor.

Project-based learning

Learners work asynchronously at their own pace on projects they’ve had input on designing with the instructor. This gives employees the opportunity to create their own training projects and improve their skills together through social learning. Training check-ins happen periodically and synchronously.

Synchronous direct instruction

This type of hybrid learning is currently what most companies and schools are doing during a mixed workforce. It’s the typical instructor-led training where in-person learners observe training on-site and remote employees connect through Zoom. The instructor leads the entire group of learners through a predetermined training course.

Synchronous jigsaw

Learners are given a small piece of the entire training course to master, a single topic or exercise they are to focus on. Then using collaborative learning, each employee shares what they’ve learned with the rest of the group connecting all the pieces together like a puzzle. This creates a peer learning environment.

Synchronous lab

Very similar to the asynchronous lab, but the instructor creates the training materials and is present during the entire training course. The instructor leads both in-person and remote learners through the course completion.

Synchronous three-part lesson

Designed to break up the training course into smaller, bite-sized learning. The instructor provides the context of the training, asks learners a question to spark interest, and then lets each group strategize and learn together. Instructors check-in periodically to track training progress of the learners. Finally, the learners and instructor come together to discuss the final training solution.

Hybrid vs remote learning

The difference between hybrid and remote learning happens at the point of training. Remote learning is fully digital, instructors provide training materials and courses entirely online. Hybrid learning is a mix of in-person and online training, where instructors choose which option works best for employee development based on the most effective delivery method.

Hybrid learning best practices

Set learning goals and objectives

Ensure your learners know from the beginning the reason for training, course topics, and skills they’ll develop upon completion.

  • Managers would list SMART goals their employees are expected to complete through the training, these should align with their job title, department, and organization.
  • Instructors outline the training objectives and individual measurable steps learners need to fulfill throughout training 

Encourage collaborative learning

Allowing employees to work together during the learning process is a fundamental way of ensuring they retain more information and engage with the training courses. 

This could be implemented using either project-based or synchronous jigsaw hybrid learning models.

Incentive social learning

Similar to learner collaboration, social learning encourages conversation and discussion of what employees have just learned. This could be in the form of a discussion form, Q&A, FAQs, comments, and sharing of training materials within your LMS. 

You can achieve social learning using the synchronous three-part lesson model.

Create on-demand resources

In order to promote asynchronous learning, instructors should record, upload, and share any materials used throughout the training course to their learning management system. 

These could be anything from recorded Zoom calls, webinars, demos, and more. Doing so allows learners to access crucial training materials any time they need.

Provide both in-person and online spaces

Create a flexible learning environment by providing both in-person and remote learning spaces. Whether it's a conference room in your business location or a Zoom meeting, learners of both types should be able to join and participate.

Mix up training materials

Using the same training materials and procedures over and over again can be detrimental to your employee’s development. Different topics require a different medium, similar to courses. 

For example, you wouldn’t want to use slides or a presentation to train your employees on using your product. In that instance, either a product demo or video would be a better way to distribute that information.

Schedule learning efficiently

Learning should take place when the employee needs it or responds to it best. Find out through management or employee feedback when training should take place. 

Also, the benefits of hybrid learning is that it can be asynchronous or synchronous. Meaning the instructor doesn’t need to be present and learning can take place whenever.

Enable ongoing learning

Why? Because there are always new skills and information to learn no matter your position at a company. 

When your engineering team releases a new feature, your employees are going to have to get familiar with it. When your organization adopts new practices, your employees are going to have to become certified in it. 

An easy way to do that is by enabling asynchronous learning where employees can access training materials whenever they want.

Combine synchronous and asynchronous learning

The key behind hybrid learning is the ability to use both types of learning together. This creates a two-pronged approach to training employees. 

Having the ability to mix and match training methods whether online or in-person is a massive advantage for companies these days.

Try uploading learning materials (videos, presentations, assessments) to your LMS, then use instructor-led training to discuss or apply the new skills and information employees have learned.

Treat in-person and online equally

A common problem with corporate training these days is that most instructors or programs favor one group over another. Some in-person training might not translate to remote learning correctly and vice versa.

The solution is to try out the Hybrid-flex (HyFlex) learning model and give each group the same amount of time and focus during the learning process.

Continu makes hybrid learning easy

Continu is a modern learning platform built entirely online and cloud-based to provide your organization with everything they need to deliver hybrid learning. Train your entire organization any way you want, whether in-person, completely online, or a combination of both. In fact, hybrid (or blended) learning is what our software excels in.

Here’s some features of Continu that makes creating a hybrid learning environment simple:

  • Cloud-based learning management system
  • All-in-one learning tool, no need for additional training software
  • Course creation tools and Learning Tracks
  • Online eLearning authoring tools
  • Employee and external user training (partners, vendors, customers)
  • Upload learning materials for asynchronous training
  • Import files, documents, and essential training resources
  • Integrations with Zoom to enable remote training
  • Track employee training and attendance
  • Provide in-person or online workshops
  • And much more,,,

Interested in offering your organization an efficient, effective and engaging hybrid learning experience? Book a demo of our all-in-one learning platform today!

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