I recently conducted a workshop at a state conference. The workshop was promoted as a hybrid workshop, with conference attendees in the room and others attending virtually. I hated it.
The opportunity to participate in the learning activities and the quality of the learning experience were completely different for the in-person and the virtual attendees. The virtual attendees were relegated to simply observing what was going on, with no ability to participate at all. Although they had received equal access to the workshop workbook, they couldn’t contribute their thoughts and responses, or benefit from any of the small group discussions. The audio technician did his best, but we couldn’t enable the virtual attendees to even listen in on a small group discussion. So, many of them left. There was nothing else for them to do.
Hybrid learning, otherwise known as blended learning, is defined as classroom participation and online learning that occur at different times, not at the same time. However, that is not how hybrid training is currently managed.
For a learning experience to be equally valuable to both the in-person and the virtual attendees, all participants need to be on their computers, including the facilitator. The learning program needs to be designed for virtual training, not in-person training. The only difference between the participants should be that some are on their computers in the same room, while others are on their computers in remote locations.
And this begs the question, why make any of the participants come to the same training location if they’re going to be on their computers, anyway? The argument could be made that the in-person attendees would be able to interact directly with the facilitator and each other during breaks, giving them a richer learning experience. However, that would be patently unfair to the virtual attendees.
I propose that we stop calling it hybrid training if some participants are in one place with the facilitator and others have to be in remote locations. Let’s avoid the need for some participants to come together in one location at all. Then, let’s call it what it should be, virtual training.
Question: What is your opinion regarding whether we should get rid of hybrid training?
May your learning be sweet- and safe.
#innovation #management #hybridtraining #virtualtraining