5 Hybrid Learning Ideas That College Leaders Must Know

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Why invest in hybrid learning? Eighty percent of undergraduates say their online learning lacks the engagement of in-person learning. Yet higher ed institutions that have invested in hyflex course offerings experienced increased enrollment and revenue. Furthermore, trends show this mixed modality as a force beyond the pandemic crisis. So, here’s five hybrid learning ideas college leaders should know.


What is Hybrid Learning? 

Hybrid courses divide content between time online and in-person. Hybrid-flexible or hyflex courses use hybrid course elements in a flexible form. Hyflex courses let students choose how they take part in their classes. Students may opt for in-person instruction, or they may join online. 


Leaders Make the Hybrid Learning Student-centric 

So, hyflex courses blend in-person classroom instruction with online learning best practices. Professors deliver from the classroom. Yet,students opt to join the class via a session recording or live stream. Learners offer the options based on needs. Students do not miss class due to sickness or schedule conflicts. Also, hyflex courses are student-centric experiences. Courses that let students lead the way grow. Unity College increased enrollment by almost 300 percent over the past decade by offering hyflex courses, which has improved diversity too. 


College Leaders Must Know Course Planning Options  

Still, leaders need to know hybrid course options. Leaders drive discussions with faculty and instructional design teams on which choice works best for their courses. Hyflex courses, designed with clear intent, are the best. Leaders drive the strategic plan. So, higher ed leaders must know the keys to success is knowing where and how much hyflex learning is needed. Besides that, clear goals guide how much hybridization the school offers students. Also, strategy directs investments in support systems. 


Emphasize Video and Content Management for Hybrid Learning 

Likewise, video tech in classrooms and on the backend matters. So, leaders invest in vendor-agnostic platforms. This tech broadcasts and captures classroom lectures. Microphones and cameras should work through USB ports that plugin. Moreover, leaders promote the strengths of video creation to faculty. Students can pause, rewind, speed up, and replay lectures. Yet, leaders plan to invest in transcript and caption services. Also, leaders start conversations about video content management systems (VCMS). A video content management system that works with the LMS is necessary. Yes, these investments are worth it. These steps enable universities to scale growth. Besides that, leaders invest in faculty.


College Leaders Invest in Professional Development 

Still, all this new tech takes time to learn. The learning curve can be steep for some faculty. Also, professors need training on how to use the equipment in the classroom. Besides, they need new skills in facilitating online discussions. Also, instructors need to know how to troubleshoot tech. Still, instructional design partners give faculty the best tools for hybrid course design. Also, quick start guides for remote teaching tools help. So, leaders can invest in hyflex course creation training sessions for staff. Besides that, staff and support systems ensure students are not neglected. Leaders will need to make investments in back-office support to give professors time with students.


Emphasize Digital Equity in Hybrid Learning 

Also, leaders should know the impact hyflex courses have on foreign students. Yes, schools attract new students with hyflex classes. Yet, students in different time zones cannot take part in synchronous learning sessions with ease. They may have a tough time asking questions and getting answers. Lectures without video captions may confuse learners with disabilities and non-native speakers. So, leaders must make captioning and transcription easy for professors. Also, leaders must plan out how to reach students with unstable internet connections. Schools may need to supply computers to students. Leaders must prioritize digital equity in strategic plan discussions. 


In sum, students find in-person courses more engaging than online sessions. Students, for various needs, demand hyflex course options like for their health, the campus commute, and their safety. Also, universities that invested in offering hyflex courses experienced bumps in enrollment. Also, students have come to realize the strength of video. Leaders can help instructors shift time from hybrid course creation to student interaction by investing in ID support staff. Also, leaders support professors by investing in backend technology such as VCMS. As a result, students get more personalized feedback from their instructor. 


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