Hybrid learning in higher education – how to adjust AV infrastructure to changing requirements?2021 | september
This Autumn most of universities and colleges have come back to traditional face-to-face learning. After Summer, we are hoping we have overcome the biggest Corona virus crisis and pandemic will not reach its 2020 levels. Hybrid learning is predicted to stay with us in the foreseeable future, as it offers benefits to foreign and remote students, as well as those who are not able to attend the classroom due to illness or disability.
Due to constantly changing restrictions and rules for gatherings and new emerging education models, universities must be prepared to accommodate learning in all formats:
- traditional classroom lessons;
- remote learning;
- hybrid education, combining face-to-face instructions and remote online learning.
Updating an AV infrastructure in the university facilities to accommodate learning in all formats is a significant challenge.
Hybrid learning – what is it, why will it stay with us for longer?
Hybrid learning means that lessons are conducted in a blended format – some students and a lecturer are present in the university building, and the rest of the class is participating in the lesson remotely from their homes. The main goal of hybrid learning during pandemic is limiting the number of people in the classroom to reduce the risk of Corona virus spreading.
However, the scope of hybrid learning is much wider. It enables disabled, ill or currently absent students to participate in the class, which means they do not miss out on any elements of the curriculum and do not need to arrange additional sessions with the teachers, which will reduce the strain on room and teachers’ calendars.
Hybrid education enables participation of guest lecturers from any location in the world and sharing their content presentations – the distance does not matter, all you need to do is join a video conference.
Hybrid learning can also increase access to education for foreign students, who can participate in lectures remotely. This means that the college can increase the number of students regardless of the restrictions, room capacity or size of the building. It is definitely beneficial to properly prepare hybrid education in your school as, due to its many advantages, it will stay with us in the foreseeable future, even after the end of pandemic.
AV infrastructure supporting hybrid learning
Conducting hybrid learning means participating in a video conference and transmitting the lesson to students who are away from the classroom. Appropriately selected AV infrastructure enables this process and will be useful not only during hybrid learning, but during traditional face-to-face and fully distanced learning as well.
Based on the experience of American and British colleges, our A+V team created an audio-visual standard for classrooms and teaching halls dedicated for hybrid education. AV solutions we are using will make conducting lessons easier thanks to the following features:
- To conduct a remote or hybrid lesson, there is no need for the teacher to have a laptop with a video conferencing software installed. AV system management takes place through a touch panel based on the lectern and requires pushing one button only.
- Thanks to AI feature, the content presented or written on the whiteboard in the classroom is transmitted to remote students simultaneously in the real time, as an overlay floating in front of the presenter. Thanks to this solution, the presenter does not cover the content on the board even if they stand in front of it.
- The lecturer and students present in the classroom can speak freely, without the need to pass a microphone from one to the other. This is possible thanks to microphone ceiling arrays installed in the classroom – which collect audio signal from the whole space of the room.
- Remote students can actively participate in lectures, workshops and seminars, answer the lecturer’s questions, as well as cooperate, solve problems and write comments on a shared virtual board.
- Students present in the classroom can see images from the remote students’ cameras on an additional screen in the room, which improves communication between students.
- Classes can be recorded and shared with students as a complete material – there is no need to hire additional equipment or technical staff to achieve this.
Regardless of whether learning and teaching happen in the traditional face-to-face or in hybrid model, audio-visual and video conference technology plays a huge role in a modern university. It ensures knowledge sharing with all students, regardless of their location. Multimedia also make the knowledge sharing and content presentation more interesting and attractive, which has a positive impact on the students’ engagement levels.
A+V supports universities with advice on improving the quality of teaching through utilisation of modern technologies. We also help in the area of UC (Unified Communications) through consultations and implementing solutions that support hybrid learning.
Get in touch with us.