Tips for Learning In a Hybrid Environment | #1
Marium Asad, October 23rd, 2022
While there has been a push toward ‘normalcy’ within the past year, and a collective effort to move back to in-person working, online environments have rooted themselves within our system. The accessibility and ease that comes with working or learning from home is seen as a sure reason to keep some form of online learning present. As a result, most institutions have started forming a hybrid learning environment; where half the work is done in-person, and the other half online. There are many advantages that come with this, such as multimodal learning, lax and flexible schedules. However, many students are facing struggles with a hybrid learning system. Home does not feel like a work space, there is less group interaction, and can sometimes be overwhelming to know that your school day isn’t over when you come home; work may still be waiting. Here are some tips to help if you’re pursuing hybrid learning:
1 — Keep a Routine.
One of the biggest problems we all face is procrastination. Once in the comfort of our home, there are not only chores to do, but also comforts surrounding us. It’s easy to think we can just work later, or switch up our schedules to suit our mood. As tempting as this can be, creating a routine and sticking to it will definitely help to keep your focus, and to outline a way to avoid those all-nighters. It also prevents remote work from taking over your home life — it restrains the work into a comfortable time period so you can enjoy the rest of your time. This is especially important if the hybrid model that you’re using allows asynchronous learning; meaning that you go at your own pace. It’s easy to fall behind if randomly trying to squeeze in the work into your day. Last but not least, work on time management, so you have time for relaxation as well.
2 — Don’t miss lectures unless absolutely necessary, even if they’re available online after.
Sometimes, the ease of having a lecture recorded and posted for you for later learning is a saving grace. That surprise visit to the doctor won’t be a problem, as you can easily learn what you have missed. Tread very carefully though, as the allure of just ‘I’ll catch up later’ can lead to a long list of missed lectures; harder to catch up than you initially thought. There are many reasons to attend in-person lectures. When in a classroom or lecture hall, it’s easier to focus on learning, as everyone there has the same goal. You can ask questions as soon as they enter your mind, and get clarity on the responses as well. Face-to-face talking helps to prevent misunderstandings that may occur over a quick text or email. As an added bonus, you have more free time once you come home. So maybe organize a different time to go out with friends, and attend that lecture instead.
3 — Organize your documents; both paper and online.
Sorting through paperwork feels like a chore — even more so online. In real life, it’s easy to chuck papers into piles. One reason being that you have quick access to all of them and can easily see what each page is about. Sorting through a google drive with random files, some unnamed and some leftover from your fourth grade presentations, is a lot harder. For one, sometimes you forget what a file is about — then that file must be opened before it is organized. It’s time consuming, but spending that time initially to create separate folders for all your documents will save your time later on. As a helpful hint, create new files from your google drive, not docs or sheets; as you can create the file directly in the folder you want saved. For your paperwork, get a file folder with a lot of sections. Papers are flighty, a common mishap we all face is thinking we put a page in our bag only to find that it’s not there when we need it.
4 — Eliminate Distractions.
Working from home sounds comfy; we are in an environment that we have full control over. We have access to all our favorite things, be it pillows, games, support from family and friends, or endless coffee. Sometimes though, simple comforts can become distracting. Siblings are especially annoying; a truth universally agreed upon. Sometimes our beds can become just a bit too tempting; and a quick nap becomes our long beauty sleep. The television might be on in another room, and your family is engaged in game night downstairs. Distractions are everywhere. The easiest way to remove distractions is to dedicate a special place just for work and learning. Remove any distractions from that place — tell your family to keep out when you’re busy, don’t put in a television or any other distractions. Create a place just for your work time.
“COVID-19 response — hybrid learning: hybrid learning as a key element in ensuring continued learning.” UNESCO Digital Library, UNESCO, 2020, https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000373767?posInSet=3%26queryId=b40003f4-2249-4974-84e4-acb9bc32fcf9. Accessed 22 October 2022.
Finegan, Juliana. “5 Keys to Success in Hybrid Learning.” Edutopia, 12 May 2021, https://www.edutopia.org/article/5-keys-success-hybrid-learning. Accessed 22 October 2022.
Itzkovich, Yariv. “Post-COVID-19 Adaptations; the Shifts Towards Online Learning, Hybrid Course Delivery and the Implications for Biosciences Courses in the Higher Education Setting.” Frontiers, 29 July 2021, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feduc.2021.711619/full. Accessed 22 October 2022.