COVID created some incredible challenges to secondary education, nowhere more so than laboratory courses. Students were unable to be on campus or in the lab for learning opportunities, forcing instructors to adopt teaching methods that diverged from the typical classroom environment. Distance learning (or remote learning) became the new normal. As life, and education, begins to return to a more normal feel, many educational institutions are needing to adapt to accommodate students that will be back on campus as well as those that choose to stay remote. The answer that instructors are increasingly turning to is a hybrid learning model.
Hybrid learning is more than just tossing half of your syllabus into a virtual classroom. How can you create meaningful learning opportunities for your remote students that mimic the lab experiments students are completing on campus in person? iWorx presents a comprehensive approach to combining the best parts of face-to-face and online learning to create the ideal learning and laboratory experience.
What Is Hybrid Learning?
Hybrid learning is an educational model where some students attend class in-person, while others join the class virtually from home. Educators teach remote and in-person students at the same time using tools like video conferencing hardware and software.
In some cases, hybrid classes include asynchronous learning elements, like online exercises and pre-recorded video instruction, to support face-to-face classroom sessions. When planned well, hybrid courses combine the best aspects of in-person and online learning while making education more attainable for many students.
For hybrid learning to be successful, the elements of your hybrid course need to be tailored to the learning format, whether it be in-person or online.
The Future of Hybrid Learning in Higher Education
Both face-to-face and online learning have their benefits and weaknesses for a college or university. In person instruction allows for personal interaction with individual students to meet their particular learning style and needs. However, in person learning also presents a transmission risk for COVID 19. Learning Institutions will have to learn methods to counter that risk, or at least minimize the risk, when moving forward.
Although many schools transitioned to remote and hybrid learning out of necessity, we predict that a large number of Educational Institutions will maintain at least some component of the hybrid learning environment. Hybrid learning allows flexibility for the student in the forms of: flexible learning schedules, flexibility in teaching modes and learning styles, flexibility in how students engage with their learning materials, and flexibility in collaboration and communication between peers and their instructor.
Online learning also comes with many freedoms for the student. Those students who excel at self-management and independent learning will thrive under these freedoms: the freedom to learn from the location of their choosing, the freedom to revisit materials any number of times at any pace, and the freedom to develop an in-depth asynchronous discourse with your peers. For students who aren’t able to attend classes in-person, the hybrid learning environment allows them to learn remotely from home or any location.
The goal of hybrid learning is to combine the two formats to create a singular learning experience without any weak spots. This is especially tricky when dealing with knowledge obtained with hands on laboratory experiences. This is where iWorx can help.
The iWorx Hybrid Learning Model
Hybrid laboratory instruction can come in many different forms, depending on the content and instructor’s expectations for the course. The following guide is designed to highlights how to combine virtual and in-person hands-on laboratory learning using iWorx equipment.
iWorx In Person Class Structure
iWorx equipment was designed for students to work in small groups using the iWorx TA Teaching kit for lab exercises.
There are several avenues to increase your disposable respiratory kit (A-SRK-x). Independent laboratory tests have verified that this pulmonary function filter is highly effective. It consistently filters out more than 99.999% of bacteria and 99.99% of viruses. At the same time, easily surpassing published ATS recommendations for flow resistance in pulmonary function instrumentation, which suggest resistance should be below 1.5 cm H2O/L/sec at flow rates of 14 L/sec. After each use, for more piece of mind, it is recommended that the flow head and tubing be cleaned as well (Cleaning the Flow Head). The flow head and tubing need to be thoroughly dry before the next use.using the
Cleaning procedures for the remaining components of our systems are quite easy. Everything from the TA boxes to the pulse sensors can be wiped down with disinfecting wipes. Make sure there is ample contact time for the wipe to do its job before the next person handles the system. Please do not use alcohol on any of our products.
iWorx Hybrid Class Structure using the REACH-DL
A Hybrid Model can be used using both the iWorx TA Teaching kit as well as the iWorx REACH-DL Distance Learning System. Students that are learning in person on campus in the laboratory will use the TA teaching kit – working in groups of 3 to 4 students. Students that are learning remotely will complete laboratory exercises using the REACH-DL distance learning system.
The REACH-DL is a home-based lab kit designed for distance learning and online students. The kit contains the sensors, recording software, and write-ups to perform over 15 core experiments introducing your students to the fundamentals of cardiovascular, neuromuscular and respiratory physiology.
Each exercise is laid out in a step-by-step, simple-to-use fashion, allowing your students to perform hands-on experiments at home, easily analyze their findings, and generate a report.
Hybrid Teaching Tips
To ensure your new hybrid course runs smoothly, here are some bonus hybrid teaching tips just for you:
- Don’t be afraid to redesign. The course map you created is not set in stone, as you move through the semester, lean into the strengths that arise and redesign to accommodate for any weaknesses that get exposed.
- Use online work to offer targeted learning plans, extensions, or one-on-one teaching for individual students.
- Provide mobile learning options for the online portion of your course.
- Be open to feedback, and really learn from your student’s experiences.
- Don’t overload on online assignments, just because they can be completed anywhere doesn’t mean they take any less time than face-to-face work.
- Integrate the online and the in-person. A successful hybrid course is only as strong as the relationship between its two halves.
- Embrace your hybrid community. If you find yourself stuck or frustrated, turn to other hybrid class instructors that you respect: their experience and wisdom are priceless.
- Explain the purpose and expectations of your hybrid class clearly and often. If this format is new to you, there is a good chance it is new to your students as well.
- Provide students with self and time management tips so they aren’t left treading water as soon as they leave the classroom. This is especially helpful for students who have never completed online coursework before.
- Connect your students to a trusted IT hotline for any technical issues that may arise.