Digital Classrooms or Hybrid Learning Models?: Difference Between these New Age Learning Models

Digital Classrooms or Hybrid Learning Models

Over the past year, the coronavirus decimated business prospects across the country, and the traditional education industry was no exception.

With physical locations shut, schools had no choice but to adapt their models to include technology. This article will explore two different types of tech-based education approaches – digital classrooms and hybrid models, and delve into the pros and cons of each.

Digital Classrooms

Over the past ten to twelve months, the concept of virtual classes gained popularity in schools and coaching institutes alike. Virtual classrooms use video conferencing technology to enable teachers and students to interact in real-time and recreate a classroom environment via a digital medium.

Most platforms, including Zoom and Microsoft Teams, include screen-sharing options, enabling teachers to share content and present slideshows as they would in real classes. While some use pre-recorded video sessions and live video streaming of lectures so that students can get remote access to learning resources

Pros

  1. Virtual Classrooms can overcome the constraints posed by physical locations, as any number of students can log on to a session with the same teacher, allowing educators to reach a larger number of students at the same time
  2. Digital Classes are often recordable, which can be extremely beneficial for students, who can go back and understand concepts without having to wait for a teacher to clarify their doubts. This can also be beneficial for students who may not be able to attend class as they can watch the lecture at a later time.
  3. Students are less likely to be distracted by classmates during virtual sessions, leading to increased engagement levels.

Cons

  1. The virtual nature of the classroom can lead to increasing isolation and negatively affect students’ mental health.
  2. Since students attend virtual classes in comfortable environments, there may be a degree of lethargy/lack of attentiveness present in the class, especially since classes are recordable, which may cause students to be nonchalant when it comes to paying attention

Hybrid Models

While not a new concept, hybrid learning has only recently begun to gain traction. This approach incorporates the use of technology into more traditional styles of learning. The most common hybrid model involves students learning at physical locations such as coaching centers/schools while using technology to complete assignments and tests.

Pros

  1. Hybrid learning tools are extremely personalized and can cater to the individual needs of each student. The software analyzes the tests and assignments submitted by the student and automatically isolates topics where the student does not perform well. It also provides much more comprehensive reports to tutors, who can use this information to tailor solutions to each candidate.
  2. There is also a personal touch to hybrid learning models, where students can interact with their professors and benefit from their expertise. This allows students to benefit from the best of both worlds and significantly improve their grades and future prospects.
  3. Hybrid models also bring with them increased flexibility, which allows students to work on assignments at times that are convenient for them, rather than having to stick to a routine that is not suited to their schedules.

Cons

  1. This model can cause confusion amongst students and professors if not implemented properly
  2. Lack of required digital infrastructure such as computers can create challenges

Also published on Medium.

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