Best Hybrid Learning Tools for 2023
The year 2023 has officially brought hybrid learning to the mainstream. We at ClassIn make it a mission to dig deep into current learning trends and equip educators everywhere with the right tools. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of hybrid learning, what to look for in hybrid technologies, and our recommendations!
1. What Is Hybrid Learning?
In a recently published white paper, Anthology found that “over 80% of students now prefer that at least some of their courses or course meetings take place online.” And hybrid learning, a flexible approach that promises the perfect middle ground, has come to the spotlight.
Hybrid learning is an educational model in which some students take classes in-person, while others connect virtually from home. Educators, by using tools like video conferencing or virtual classrooms, teach in-person and remote students at the same time. Hybrid classes sometimes involve asynchronous learning elements, such as online quizzes or pre-recorded videos, to meet the needs of face-to-face sessions.
1.1 Hybrid Learning vs. Traditional Classroom Learning
Traditional classroom learning is carried out through such activities as lectures, case studies, group discussions, team projects, and so forth. It has the foremost advantage of face-to-face interactions in which students derive motivation, inspiration, and feedback from the educator as well as their classmates. But its requirement for attendance and synchronous environments proves incredibly constraining in the pandemic.
By contrast, hybrid learning presents more elastic options, allowing students to learn according to their own circumstances. As a matter of fact, “most millennials prefer hybrid education to traditional on-campus programs,” Forbes reported.
1.2 Hybrid Learning Tools vs. Online Learning
Online learning, an approach that has been widely adopted in recent years, makes it possible to learn asynchronously, realize personalized learning paths, and enable convenient access to course materials. In addition, online environments expand possibilities for schools with limited space and funding. But the drawbacks of online learning are also significant when it comes to feedback, social isolation, accessibility, accreditation, and quality assurance. On the other hand, hybrid learning incorporates the characteristics of both traditional and online settings to deliver the utmost flexibility in learning.
1.3 Hybrid Learning vs. Blended Learning
Blended learning and hybrid learning, which can often be mistaken for one another, are two distinct learning models. Blended learning starts with the traditional, in-person learning, then supplementing the time students spend in classroom or after school with online learning materials. This combination of physical classroom attendance and tech-driven, online learning aims to engage the learners in a multimodal learning spectrum.
Hybrid learning, much differently, is a creative method where teachers instruct in-person and remote students at the same time. Online materials are viewed as an extension of the classroom, and traditional lectures would be displayed in live streaming rooms via hybrid learning tools. When planned well, hybrid classes wed the best aspects of in-person and online learning while making education more attainable for all students.
2. Five Must-Have Considerations for Choosing a Hybrid Learning Tool
2.1 Well-Equipped Hardware
When it comes to choosing a hybrid learning tool, the first and foremost essential is the hardware: pick the one that provides gadgets as well-appointed as possible. For students, they need computers or tablets that come with a camera and a microphone to start with. An external webcam can be set up to ensure a clear and quality picture.
In the classroom, smart displays take the place of a digital whiteboard while offering real-time interactions. More importantly, whole classroom audio and versatile camera solution are recommended. A whole-classroom audio solution can pick up voices in every inch of the classroom, thus facilitating online learning very well. A versatile camera solution enables both the teacher and the students to be seen, thereby keeping the learners, both in-person and remote, fully engaged in the teacher’s instruction.
2.2 Collaborative Software
Collaborative software lets students work, brainstorm, discuss, and tackle group projects together effectively. You may want to look at software like ClassIn, Google Classroom, Canvas LMS, or Moodle. Breakout rooms are a great function for remote students to connect with each other and thus foster their leadership and collaboration skills. The teacher can divide students into small groups to confer on a concept or work on a project. And teachers can manage and monitor what’s happening in all breakout rooms.
2.3 Real-Time Backchannels
Backchannels are outlets designed for students to ask questions and share ideas, without having to wait their turn to be called on. Using a backchannel also empowers remote students to flag technical concerns and draw timely attention from the educator; it may be very hard otherwise for them to keep up with in-person classmates. Also consider: select the backchannel that preferably brings together active communication and interaction so that introverts and those who may be too shy to raise their hands can partake in class more effectively and energetically.
2.4 Better Record-Keeping
Attendance, participation, grades, and more should be carefully recorded for not only remote learners but also educators and those in-person students who would like to do after-school reviews. The relevant data for each lecture should be freely shared through the hybrid learning tool itself in an organized and accessible way. For convenience, it’s suggested that the recorded lectures should be amplified and converted into any of suitable and available.
2.5 Ensured Flexibility and Accessibility
Hybrid learning lets the students determine whether to attend the classes in the classroom or in a virtual way. The best hybrid learning tool maximizes student agency. All kinds of operating systems within different devices—Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac within mobile phones, tablet PCs, and laptops—should have access to the hybrid learning tool. This provides perfect flexibility for the clients and accessibility to the academic content.
3. Seven Best Hybrid Learning Tools for 2023
ClassIn is a leading EdTech app that provides all-inclusive solutions for hybrid learning. Today, hundreds of thousands of schools and educators around the world benefit from ClassIn’s powerful and easy-to-use tools. ClassIn app enables interactive classrooms with engaging classes which start free and scale up to meet customers’ needs at any stage of teaching. It features virtual trophies and medals to mobilize active participation, as well as lesson scheduling, homework management, school management dashboard, and cloud storage. Classroom and homework insights are automatically generated so that teachers and parents can get a clear picture of student performance. The user interface is concise and clear, and it runs smoothly on all platforms of PCs, tablets, and mobile phones. If you have any questions, the technical team is there to provide 24/7 support.
Interactive blackboard for freeform writing and multimedia display
Gamification features: virtual trophies, slot machine, and more
Data analytics on student performance
Cloud-based teaching resources
In-app IM system
Lesson scheduling system
Breakout rooms, screen sharing, and video gallery for in-class activities
Pop quizzes, assignments, and exams
24/7 customer support
EdApp applies a mobile learning strategy to sustain self-paced learning experience. It allows the learners to take their courses or training at the most convenient time and place, especially when their schedules are already hectic and tumultuous enough. As for instructor-led teaching or training sessions, it’s still made possible even in distance with virtual classrooms. EdApp wields the Practical Assessments tool in a checklist style designed for in-person learning, which approximates a face-to-face setup that meets the high demands in the hybrid learning trend.
ProProfs is a gamified hybrid learning tool that tries hard to construct an interactive and collaborative learning environment. This LMS software allows you to invent customized educational content according to your courses or reorganize existing materials from its online libraries. To make your courses more interesting and your students more concentrative, you can supplement gamification elements such as brain games, learning paths, and quizzes. While giving your students the opportunity to learn at their own pace, you can still reinforce collaborative learning through virtual classrooms and discussion forums.
Easy online course authoring
HireRoad is an LMS that coalesces in-person learning and online learning so as to build a dynamic and collaborative learning platform beneficial to both the educators and the learner. It offers diversified tools to support a hybrid learning environment, including lessons with task assignments, on-the-job training events and performance evaluations, and learning paths composed of multifarious courses. It also facilitates social learning through user communities and walls and feeds.
Lessons with task assignments
On-the-job training events and performance evaluations
Community walls and feeds
Tovuti is an LMS that incorporates features dedicated to providing an efficient teaching or training process for the instructors and an effective learning experience for the learners. It integrates a course authoring tool that makes it possible to devise and deploy interactive courses. It offers a virtual classroom to set up synchronous teaching sessions. It also gives the learners the opportunity to carry out group discussions or one-on-one interactions with the instructor. Besides, the consumers of Tovuti have access to a personalized portal that shows their badges, certificates, leaderboard rank, checklists, assigned courses, and so forth.
Course authoring tool
Personalized learner portal
Gyrus is a cloud-based LMS that provides flexible learning for your students and world-class training for your employees. As a hybrid learning solution, Gyrus enables learning materials to be delivered through various digital formats, varying from e-learning videos, webinars and documents, to virtual classrooms. Additionally, it supports traditional onboarding and teaching activities, at the same time granting accessibility anytime and anywhere across any device. Its smart learning functions are also optimized for creating more customized learning programs.
Various digital e-learning formats
Blackboard is a digital learning platform equipped with a wide range of teaching tools and solutions that revolutionizes hybrid learning. You can utilize it to create online courses, organize tasks, and monitor your learners’ progress. You can also host live streaming and communicate with your learners in real time via its virtual classroom solution. Unlike video conferencing software, it also offers interactive whiteboards, hand-raise notifications, breakout groups, and chat features. All tools lay a solid foundation for collaborative and engaging learning.
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*ClassIn is a leading edtech company that provides a one-stop solution for digital learning.
ClassIn software enables interactive classrooms, in-school social app, lesson scheduling, homework management, and school management dashboard, which start free and scale up to meet our customers' needs at any stage of teaching. Today, thousands of schools and institutions around the world benefit from ClassIn's powerful and easy-to-use tools to teach online and offline.