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Sasha Vassar | Why hybrid learning isn’t the answer

Sasha Vassar

One thing is certain, we cannot continue to teach in the same way in the world of hybrid.

Sasha Vassar

In theory, synchronous hybrid learning is a fantastic idea: students and teachers have increased flexibility, and universities can benefit from increased enrolments. But in reality, hybrid learning is not everything it is cracked up to be. Over the past two years of the pandemic, a mixed learning and teaching mode has developed – part in person and part online – bringing to the fore a multitude of problems. Technical challenges, enhanced cognitive load for both students and teachers, a lack of social presence, and wrangling a cohort spread across multiple locations and time zones are just a few. But how can we combat some of the larger issues? Is it possible to create positive experiences for both the teachers and the students in this brave new world of hybrid education? 

What comes next? is a UNSW Centre for Ideas project, with illustrations designed by Juune Lee, video production by dplr, podcast production by Bryce Halliday, and music composition by Lama Zakharia.

Alexandra (Sasha) Vassar

Sasha Vassar

Dr Sasha Vassar has a cross-disciplinary background in Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and a PhD in Education from UNSW Sydney. She has spent a number of years working in the engineering industry improving problem solving and design processes, before her passion for education and teaching brought her back to UNSW to join the School of Computer Science and Engineering, in the Faculty of Engineering. Her interests include the role of human computer interaction, UX and UI in the design of engineering solutions; the role of design thinking in engineering problem solving and the application of cognitive load theory concepts to improve pedagogy. 

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