Hybrid trainings - [not] a good idea?! Insights from the "ground" including a tangible recommendation!
The topic sounds exciting, modern, downright progressive.
"Hybrid" means that some participants meet in a seminar room while others are connecting to the same training event via MS Teams, Zoom or other online platforms. The training itself takes place together, directed by one of our trainers.
We put ourselves out in the "storm" for you in order to gain own, waterproof experiences with this format. We also exchanged our thoughts with some renowned online trainers. The result is an astonishingly clear recommendation that we want to share with you here.
Summary of our experiences I
We would like to offer you only outstanding training solutions that enable maximum learning effects in an interactive and exciting way.
Our own experience with hybrid trainings shows that this format can unfortunately not be recommended. We would like to introduce you to the reasons in the following.
In the on-site training room, top-class microphones are required for all participants, as well as several very good cameras. For example, one camera should be aimed at the trainer, one at the participants and at least one on the flipchart and one on the pinboard. You have to switch back and forth between these cameras constantly.
... some things work excellently on-site, others are convincing in virtual space; high-quality and goal-oriented methods that work in both worlds, on the other hand, are rare.
Often, either the on-site or the online group is more in focus; depending on which side contains more people and whether the trainer is on-site or in the virtual class room. This is purely human, because the human attention simply is limited.
Summary of our experiences II
The on-site participants and the virtual participants sometimes do not get along well acoustically. For example, if there is background noise, if many people are speaking at the same time or microphones are not available in sufficient number or quality. In this case, the trainer has to act as a "translator", which costs time and makes the training event less fun.
A lot of time is lost due to the challenges described. With a one-day training format, we expect to lose approx. one hour due to waiting and explanation as well as technical challenges associated with the hybrid way of working. This means, we have less for imparting knowledge and skills.
The significantly higher preparation effort for hybrid training events unfortunately automatically leads to higher fees.
If you consider the higher costs, increased effort and yet lower learning effect of hybrid training measures, two separate events [one online and a second on-site] or a joint online training pay off more than clearly.
Usually, we rarely like to think in black and white. However, on this topic, we would actually advise you STRONGLY against a hybrid training format! Your participants will thank you for it.