“The virtual meeting or training platform is what unites your participants and creates a level playing field.” Cynthia Clay
How do you handle a training situation when some learners are in the classroom while others are remote?
Hybrid Training is Not New
Hybrid training is not new. Prior to virtual platforms, there were always participants who were geographically dispersed and had to call in so that they could take advantage of a training opportunity. It was difficult for facilitators to remember about remote participants or know how to include them in discussions.
The remote participants often ended up simply watching what was happening in the classroom. This passive learning experience left them bored and disengaged.
Hybrid Training Event
Now we have hybrid training events that have in-person and virtual participants.
Classroom and virtual learning experiences are very different. It is true that small group discussions in the classroom can be duplicated in breakout rooms. However, there are constraints on how the virtual discussions can be debriefed. Large group discussions and polls need to be handled differently. Chat is limited to virtual learning. And kinesthetic and hands on activities are, for the most part, limited to the classroom.
As a result, we may need to assign different activities to the in-person and virtual participants. While we debrief them, it is likely that some of the participants will feel excluded and become disengaged.
Inclusive and Equitable Learning Experiences
It is important that every learner has access to the same learning experience. It is also important that every learner feel included and actively engaged. The best way to accomplish this is to have both the virtual and the classroom participants log onto a video conferencing platform such as Zoom, WebEx, or Adobe Connect. This way, all learners will learn the same content and participate in the same learning activities at the same time.
Would it be nice if everyone could always attend a classroom event? Certainly. But that wasn’t possible before, it isn’t possible now, and it won’t be likely in the future.
Let’s ensure that all training events are inclusive, equitable, effective, and engaging for all learners, regardless of their location. When faced with a hybrid situation, use a video conferencing platform.
Question: How do you ensure that in-person and virtual learners have the same learning experience in a hybrid training program?
May your learning be sweet- and safe.