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What is Hybrid Learning in L&D?

If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘hybrid learning’, trust us, you’re not alone as it’s a relatively new phrase that’s only just starting to create quite the buzz in organisations across the globe.

Put simply, however, hybrid learning is an approach to education that combines online learning with traditional classroom learning, and it’s quickly becoming a trend as the world of work adapts to the circumstances that the pandemic brought upon us.

So, the question is, what does this mean for training and development teams moving forward? Below we give you more insight.

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Hybrid Learning in L&D

As the world slowly gets back to normality, businesses are still trying to navigate how to upskill and reskill employees to close any glaring skills gaps that have become apparent over the last year or so as we’ve adjusted to remote and hybrid work.

This means that now more than ever, employers will be looking to their learning and development teams to update and enhance workplace learning methods to keep up with the momentum of the hybrid workplace - and this is where hybrid learning comes in.

With so many employees working from home while others are back in the office full-time, and the rest are somewhere in between, it’s the responsibility of L&D professionals to create an inclusive learning environment for all - no matter their location.

Hybrid learning is an innovative method of learning that’s all about improving accessibility and inclusivity at work and, with a little effort, can bring employees to the forefront of your organisation’s enhanced L&D strategy. 

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Blended Learning vs Hybrid Learning: What’s the Difference?

While blended learning and hybrid learning are often mistaken for one another due to the fact that they contain many of the same instructional elements, they are different in that each follows their own distinct learning models.

Blended learning, for instance, combines face-to-face learning with online exercises, where students will watch educational videos and complete assignments in line with the in-person teaching on their own time.

Hybrid learning, on the other hand, is a learning experience that focuses on teaching both in-person and remote learners at the same time; saving time and money for those organisations that have a high volume of remote workers whether they be local or dotted around the world.

Hybrid learning also sometimes uses learning models that feature online and virtual learning depending on the training content.

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Top Tips for Hybrid Learning

As an L&D professional, you want to make sure your business is on the right track when it comes to embracing and effectively implementing hybrid learning in the workplace.
To this end, we recommend that you check that you’ve applied the following three key elements to ensure you’re on your way to championing hybrid learning at work:

1. Embracing Inclusivity

First and foremost, it’s important for L&D professionals to challenge their own preferences and biases (unconscious and otherwise) in order to put themselves in the shoes of their learners to best understand what they need as a group as well as individually to develop in their roles.

By designing an L&D strategy that caters to all employees, you can help create an inclusive culture where employees feel supported and encouraged to improve their skills, reach their potential, and excel in their work.
We should mention that right now this may also mean paying special attention to remote employees - who are often under-resourced - so that a bigger impact can be made with the right hybrid learning strategies and tactics. 

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2. Integrate Technology

It should go without saying that in a time where organisations have become so dependent on technology, it’s imperative that L&D leaders work with HR to ensure that they’re using the latest technologies to enhance the quality of their employees’ varied learning experiences - a factor that is also critical for learner engagement.
This not only promotes collaboration but brings colleagues closer together during a time of rapid digital transformation.

After all, if organisations don’t stay up to date with the latest technology, they risk falling behind - risking higher employee turnover rates and negative impacts on the bottom line.

3. Share Best Practices

The most important thing to remember when it comes to hybrid learning - and learning in general - is to never assume that there isn’t more to learn once training is completed, especially as technology advances and continues to transform the world of work as we know it.

Therefore, it’s important to share best training practices with fellow L&D professionals, as well as share every win, fail, and what you’d do differently the next time around.

These practices help create a safe community where knowledge shared is knowledge gained, helping L&D remain at par with the ongoing changes across every industry.

Interested in learning how to implement the best learning strategies in your business? Start today by enrolling on a 100% online CIPD L&D qualification.

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