Article by Jason Williams-Bellamy and Beth Simone Noveck: “There’s never been more hybrid learning in the public sector than today…
There are pros and cons in online and in-person training. But some governments are combining both in a hybrid (also known as blended) learning program. According to the Online Learning Consortium, hybrid courses can be either:
- A classroom course in which online activity is mixed with classroom meetings, replacing a significant portion, but not all face-to-face activity
- An online course that is supplemented by required face-to-face instruction such as lectures, discussions, or labs.
A hybrid course can effectively combine the short-term activity of an in-person workshop with the longevity and scale of an online course.
The Digital Leaders program in Israel is a good example of hybrid training. Digital Leaders is a nine-month program designed to train two cohorts of 40 leaders each in digital innovation by means of a regular series of online courses, shared between Israel and a similar program in the UK, interspersed with live workshops. This style of blended learning makes optimal use of participants’ time while also establishing a digital environment and culture among the cohort not seen in traditional programs.
The State government in New Jersey, where I serve as the Chief Innovation Officer, offers a free and publicly accessible online introduction to innovation skills for public servants called the Innovation Skills Accelerator. Those who complete the course become eligible for face-to-face project coaching and we are launching our first skills “bootcamp,” blending online and the face-to-face in Q1 2020.
Blended classrooms have been linked to greater engagement and increased collaboration among participating students. Blended courses allow learners to customise their learning experience in a way that is uniquely best suited for them. One study even found that blended learning improves student engagement and learning even if they only take advantage of the traditional in-classroom resources. While the added complexity of designing for online and off may be off-putting to some, the benefits are clear.
The best way to teach public servants is to give them multiple ways to learn….(More)”.