The recent Covid-19 crisis removed us from our comfortable learning context and forced us to explore new teaching and learning approaches facilitated by digital. 2020, while being challenging, was a learning and collaborative year.
We all discovered new ways to interact virtually, whether with people or content. We learned by trying things out. Some worked, some did not, but what mattered was that we kept an open mind, we tried new things, we learned from our mistakes and shared what we did well. Our mindset shifted to that of explorers and collaborators.
We also discovered a new vocabulary for these new teaching approaches, such as “hybrid teaching” and “synchronous/asynchronous learning”.
While blended learning can take place synchronously, it is essentially asynchronous. It refers to the combination of both face-to-face and remote learning activities that are facilitated and enhanced through a range of technologies and methodologies. The blend lies in the tools, flexible times and spaces chosen to enhance the learning experience.
Hybrid learning is when learners are simultaneously attending the same delivery session from different learning spaces. Some learners will be physically in the classroom or workshop and others attending the training virtually, using different technologies and connectivity to join.
So, the question lies in how do we adapt our pedagogic approaches and devise learning activities so that each learners’ cohort from whatever space they join the training can engage in the session, developing both knowledge and skills. How can we optimise the differentiated learning experience of all learners?
It is clear from the definitions above that hybrid learning should also be blended.
As more asynchronous learning is “delivered with activities accompanied with clear instructions and structured in a logical manner”, “more time is freed up for synchronous interventions to focus on developing higher level skills and mentoring individual understanding, performance and progress”.
This presents a number of challenges, and we hope the Reflective Exploration projects will create safe space and time for FE colleagues to investigate further.
 Compton, M., 2021. Free, easy and fit for purpose TEL; lessons learned the hard way by a non-IT whizz.
 Cheseldine, 2021. Moving a Course Online.
 Enhance Digital Teaching Platform. 2021. Asynchronous teaching and learning. [online] Available at:
https://enhance.etfoundation.co.uk/modules/2151/asynchronous-teaching- and-learning [Accessed 6 April 2021].