What is hybrid education?
Blended education is a methodology in which students experience the learning process through face-to-face and distance learning in an integrated manner . Thus, this procedure combines traditional elements with technological tools and devices, which results in a more complete and relevant education for 21st century students.Click here for more detail www.eleapsoftware.com
Far beyond classes with part of a group accompanying in person and another accompanying virtually, this methodology has several ways to be applied . In general, any form of interaction that goes beyond the limits of the classroom and takes place in virtual space can now be considered a hybrid model.
However, it is important to understand that, for the methodology to take place, there must be a plan in which the real and the virtual are explored in a significant way . This means that it is not enough to put a video on the school’s online environment if there is no sense allied to the learning process. To succeed, it is essential to invest in a model that maintains student engagement, with constant interaction in the virtual environment and personalization of the student experience.
Understanding the nuances of blended education is very important for classes to become more attractive and make sense for student education. With this in mind, schools and education professionals should seek information that helps in the full exploration of the numerous possibilities of this methodology.
How has the practice of blended education intensified in the pandemic?
Hybrid education is not something new, which emerged only because of measures to combat the contagion of the new coronavirus. However, it is undeniable that the restrictions established for educational institutions in this period are responsible for the popularization of the term. Today, talking about this modality is increasingly common in the school context throughout Brazil.
This is because, after almost 1 year of closed doors, the beginning of the 2021 school year was marked by the return of students to schools , but with various security measures. Among them, the one that most boosted the popularization of the methodology was the limitation of the number of students per class. Thus, many educational institutions chose to keep part of the students at home, while another part attends school.
In view of this, hybrid education has presented itself as an effective alternative in guaranteeing access to education for those who are not physically present in the classroom. Thus, students can follow the classes that take place at the school synchronously, having the possibility of interacting with colleagues and answering their questions in real time.
In addition, with the constant changes in the risk flags of the pandemic, which sometimes allow face-to-face classes, sometimes prevent hybrid education, the model has intensified as a guarantee of the continuity of school activities, due to the use of digital resources . Thus, if in one month students can be at school, but not in the following month, the process is not interrupted, as they are already inserted in the virtual environment.
What are the advantages of this modality?
As we have seen, the possibility of not having an interruption in the learning process is a considerable advantage of Hybrid Education. However, there are several other points worth noting.
Real-time interaction, even from a distance
With hybrid education, it is possible to implement synchronous monitoring , that is, live, of the classes that are taught at school. Thus, students who attend from a distance can interact with colleagues and with teachers, which is an essential part of an integral formation.
When it comes to asynchronous distance education, when classes are only recorded, interaction is usually limited to text messages. Thus, when a doubt arises during the class, for example, the learning process is interrupted and, little by little, can discourage those who study.
That’s why real-time interaction is so fundamental in education. In addition to making it possible to ask questions at the same time as the class, students have the opportunity to participate actively . This is because students can be invited to expose what they have learned, express their views and do activities with other colleagues, for example.
Development of student leadership
One of the main goals of hybrid education is to overcome traditional and static models, focusing on the subjects of learning and not on who teaches. Thus, this modality is linked to active methodologies, which promote autonomy and stimulate the search for knowledge .
These methodologies applied to hybrid education give students the opportunity to decide when, where and with whom they want to study. Thus, they make students aware of their role and encourage them to become protagonists of their own learning.
With the use of different tools, hybrid education is able to identify the profile of the classes and point out the challenges to be overcome. This means that it is possible to understand the needs and shortcomings — pedagogical, technological and social — that each student has and, based on that, to develop specific methodologies.
Thus, when verifying that part of a class has content deficits, for example, support materials can be made available in a specific way. Even more, students with cognitive dysfunctions can receive content and assessments adapted with technological resources that expand learning possibilities.
Finally, the new generations deal with information and knowledge in a very different way than a few years ago. Therefore, hybrid education has several forms of personalization and, for this reason, this modality is so relevant to the educational context of the 21st century .
What are the points of attention when implementing blended education?
If, on the one hand, there are clear advantages in adopting hybrid education, on the other hand, there are some challenges that may require greater attention. Check out some points that can be highlighted.
Training of education professionals
Considering that methodologies that use technological resources have made a rapid advance recently, many teachers are not prepared for hybrid education . Since most professionals are part of the group called digital immigrants, that is, they had access to technological devices only from adulthood, several obstacles can be observed.
In this context, there is a strong need for training, so that hybrid education is not just a traditional model that is differentiated by the use of slides and remote classes . This means that educational institutions and government bodies in the sector must seek ways to train their teams.
The sooner schools prepare, the faster their teams and students adapt to blended education.
Even though most students have a close relationship with technology, this does not mean that its use in pedagogical practices will occur in a simple way. Often, students are inserted in school contexts that do not usually promote autonomy or that do not make significant use of technological resources.
Thus, when placed in environments with methodologies that require more independence and that do not have constant supervision, as in the classroom, adaptation can present numerous conflicts . Added to this is the fact that there is a need to establish a study routine outside the school environment, which is often presented as a major obstacle.
Furthermore, knowing how to use social networks, play video games and browse the Internet are not guarantees that students will be able to deal with the digital tools that the school requires. Even if there is a facility to learn, the pedagogical team needs to provide support and training to students, to enable them to use the solutions.
As already highlighted, in hybrid education the interaction and evaluation of students must be intense . Diagnostic assessments are one of the ways to identify which skills and competences have already been developed by students for planning the next steps.
Through diagnostic assessments, the teacher analyzes the current situation of students without this being computed in their grades. The purpose here is to monitor learning and verify that the methods applied so far are being effective for students.
Formative assessments, in turn, are the most used model in schools. The purpose of formative assessment , in addition to monitoring learning, is to identify whether there has been a satisfactory performance in acquiring essential knowledge .
In this model, the student has the opportunity to identify errors, areas in need of reinforcement and greater attention, stimulating systematic study. This evaluation works as an orientation for the student’s study and the teacher’s work, who will know if the objectives have been achieved.
Development of socio-emotional skills
The National Curricular Common Base (BNCC), of the Ministry of Education, points out the need to develop the so-called socio-emotional skills in students . In Hybrid Education, they are even more important to ensure student engagement and engagement when they are not in the face-to-face environment.