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Data revealed: Are you getting the best or the worst of both worlds with Hybrid IT courses?

Jan 2022 by MARIA FORSBERG

What may have started as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is now a widespread training solution, and the time has come to evaluate what the learners say about their hybrid course experiences.

In this blog we’ll investigate recent learner feedback and uncover everything that you need to know, before signing up for a hybrid training class.

How does it work?

You´re probably familiar with terms like virtual training, blended training and instructor-led classroom training, but what exactly is hybrid training then?

Well, it is a hybrid course where some learners attend the class on site in person, while others join the class virtually from home or the office.  

The instructor will teach the remote and the in-person learners at the same time using video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. In some cases, the instructor may even be remote and train the entire class using a virtual connection.

It’s been a sensible solution for learners who aren’t able to attend the class in person, allowing them to learn remotely from home and not miss out on learning completely.

But is it a good solution for learners?

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The facts

One important fact to keep in mind regarding hybrid classes:

  • A hybrid class is an onsite class where some learners join the class remotely. The class was originally developed for onsite learners and NOT virtual learners.

First and foremost, the practicalities impact the experience:

There is no way that a virtual learner can participate in class the same way that an onsite learner can: A virtual learner asking a question to the instructor in class, will either do so by raising their hand in the online tool, or by talking out loud in the speakers of the classroom.

 

3 reasons for failed Hybrid Classes

A mixed bag

The Best Practice models for delivering an onsite class and a virtual class are simply too different to merge them.

Practicalities

There is no way that a virtual learner can participate in class the same way that an onsite learner can.

Focus

The instructor will be focused away from microphones on occasion to help the others with labs or questions.

What does the data say?

As you can imagine, neither option is conducive for a natural and organic conversation with the instructor and classmates.

Those same virtual learners will also be struggling to follow the conversation in the classroom, even with state of the art technology, while the instructor will also be focused away from microphones on occasion to help the others with labs or questions.

Needless to say, many of these virtual learners are likely to decide that the struggle to get their question answered is not worth the effort. 

To conclude: The Best Practice models for delivering an onsite class and a virtual class are simply too different to merge them without compromising on quality. These problems all make the hybrid classroom a sensible alternative to not learning at all, but it is not a good solution.

This fact was proven by a recent study by learning solutions provider Readynez.

Data revealed

Based on more than 600 surveys among hybrid learners in 2021, the data is clear:

On a scale from 1-10, the virtual learners in an onsite class, rate their classes at a 15% lower score than their onsite classmates!

This proves that the problems we´ve highlighted previously make the hybrid classroom a sensible alternative to not learning at all, but it is not a good solution.

The training providers need some recognition of these problems, and the self-awareness should result in some candid expectation setting conversation with potential learners. Or it could mean a departure from hybrid and a return to 100% onsite or 100% virtual learning.

Time will tell, but in the meantime; make your training choice with these facts and the data in mind. Ask the question when you book a course – Is this a hybrid or a true virtual class? You don´t want to be a minority virtual learner at a classroom course!

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