The future of learning is hybrid and experiential: Designing the new student journey

Concurrent Session 2

Brief Abstract

Hybrid learning, when implemented correctly, can improve educational quality for both students and instructors and create operational flexibility for institutions. Using examples of universities worldwide who have transformed their programs, we will share how to intentionally design a hybrid student journey and effectively and seamlessly align learning objectives with modality.

Extended Abstract

Session Overview

As universities emerge from the pandemic, many recognize that hybrid learning is the present and future. An effective hybrid approach promotes pedagogical innovation, experiential learning, and operational flexibility; an ineffective one can hurt quality of instruction and leave faculty and students frustrated and burnt out. To succeed, a university must provide an intentional, integrated, and cohesive hybrid learning experience for their students that is not simply a combination of ineffective traditional educational approaches. Furthermore, institutions should go beyond one-off hybrid courses and instead design programs intentionally, using the principles of learning science to create a program that draws upon the best of in-person and virtual learning.

This session will use examples of universities with successful hybrid programs to show how to seamlessly incorporate synchronous and asynchronous learning and in-person and online instruction. The presenters will share best practices for designing a hybrid student journey, matching learning objectives to modality, correctly utilizing digital technology, and providing experiential learning opportunities for students to apply their classroom knowledge. For instance, studies show that asynchronous learning is best for information transmission, while synchronous sessions should avoid lecturing and instead, use an active learning approach. Meanwhile, experiential learning can provide students the opportunity for practical applications of knowledge acquired in other modalities, deepening their understanding and skills. When learning in different modalities is designed, taught, and assessed in an intentional and integrated manner, hybrid programs are most successful.


Engagement Strategy

The presenters believe that fully active learning is the best pedagogy and this session will reflect that. We will share a pre-reading for participants and ask them to think about elements that constitute a successful hybrid journey in advance. All higher education stakeholders attending the session will have seen or experienced hybrid courses in the past two years; this session will provide opportunities for participants to reflect and share on what worked and what didn’t. During the session, we will share examples from universities globally and ask for participant insights on best practices in designing hybrid learning journeys in the following areas: how to match pedagogy to modality, how to incorporate digital technology, how to design experiential learning components, how to train faculty, and how to assess student learning in hybrid programs. 


Takeaways for Attendees

Participants will be able to reflect on what’s worked and what hasn’t in hybrid learning over the past few years, and use that knowledge to inform intentional design of a hybrid student journey, beyond one-off courses. They will gain insights on best practices in connecting modality to learning objectives, using digital tools to simplify rather than complicate teaching and learning, and incorporate experiential learning opportunities. Attendees will leave the session inspired, connected, and ready to uplevel hybrid programs at their institutions.