Expert voices on playful hybrid higher education, in alphabetical order (all cited with permission):

Maha Bali
Mark Carrigan
Lance Eaton
Eliana Elkhoury
Tim Fawns
Neil Mosley
Will Richardson
Johan S Ross
Gilly Salmon

Maha Bali

Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning and Teaching in the American University in Cairo

"Here’s what I’m thinking. When someone says they’ll let the machine do it because ‘they don’t have time’, that does not really exactly mean they don’t have time, per se. It means that time is a limited resource, and ‘don’t have time’ means that this thing is ‘not a priority’. I’ll delegate to a machine because ‘I don’t care’. It does not deserve my personal attention, it does not deserve the time it takes to stop doing other things in order to do this thing."

February 2018, Reflecting Allowed: MahaBali’s Blog About Education

See also: https://www.aucegypt.edu/fac/mahabali; https://equityunbound.org/; and http://virtuallyconnecting.org/ 

Mark Carrigan

Lecturer in Education at the University of Manchester

“After the longest holiday I've had for years, I've started to feel seriously depressed about the quantity of Zoom meetings in my calendar over the coming weeks. I'm currently at an intensive workshop with long term collaborators where we've spent all day/evening talking to each other. It's enjoyable to immerse yourself in interaction with others who share your interests and I'm not convinced you can replicate this intellectual sociability through video calls.

The flexibility which hybrid working affords is incredibly important and I'm conscious this is far more urgent for colleagues with caring responsibilities. But I still feel we need to get better at recognising the importance of face-to-face interaction and the physical and emotional consequences of spending entire afternoons on Zoom. I'm certainly not advocating a return to the status quo ex ante but I increasingly feel that face-to-face interaction should be prioritised where it is possible and where it adds value to a meeting." 

January 2023, LinkedIn

Read also: Carrigan, M. & Porpora, D.V. (Eds.) (2021). Post-human futures: Human enhancement, artifical intelligence and social theory. Routledge.

Lance Eaton

Director of Faculty Development & Innovation, College Unbound

"Keeping up with the AI Tsunami:

It is impossible. But, you can develop information flows that allow you to dip into the conversations. This is something that I’ve learned to do over the years and find it useful to stay abreast of things that are of interest to me. It doesn’t mean I keep up with all the things, but a sufficient amount of it and where there are gaps, I am ready to fill them."

November 21, 2023, Substack (AI + Education = Simplified)

Eliana Elkhoury 
Assistant Professor/Leader in Alternative Assessment at Athabasca University

"AI should NOT be a priority in higher education. I find it concerning and disheartening that institutions and educators are more concerned about AI than students learning. The priority should be how can we support students better? how can we build relationships with students? how can we design better assessment and better learning experiences? how can I engage my students better? Those will help us find answers to AI not the other way around."

March 2024, LinkedIn

Tim Fawns

Associate Professor at Monash University (Monash Education Academy)

“Was thinking about this pre-covid paper today https://lnkd.in/eeF5U6fa. Online education is still also social and material. ‘Face-to-face’ is still also digital. Education is always hybrid, blended, synchronous and asynchronous. We just need to look beyond the obvious, to look at how technology and learning events are always integrated parts of something bigger and more complex.”

August 2022, LinkedIn

Article: Fawns, T. (2019). Postdigital Education in Design and Practice. Postdigital Science Education, 1, 132–145. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-018-0021-8

Neil Mosley

Digital Learning Consultant, Designer, Speaker & Writer at https://www.neilmosley.com/

"One of the key challenges of blended learning is rethinking & reimagining how activities that previously took place in-person can take place online, especially when many have little experience of the latter. This should be one of the value propositions of learning designers ... who can help extract the intent and draw on knowledge and experience of online & blended education strategies & approaches to help people navigate to what's increasingly becoming the dominant modality in higher education. #highereducation #learning #edtech #onlinelearning

March 2023, LinkedIn

See also: https://www.neilmosley.com 

Will Richardson

Co-Founder, Big Questions Institute; Speaker, Author, Provocateur, Educator

“People of Education: We're making this learning thing harder than it has to be.

I mean it.

We seem hell-bent on coming up with all sorts of acronyms and taxonomies and adjectives and models and pedagogies and ‘data-driven’ approaches that are supposed to make teaching and learning more ‘effective’ in schools. Every single day I run across a new buzzword or program or workshop that advocates purport will lead to deeper learning for kids. And with it comes a blizzard of marketing material aimed at getting you to buy the next workshop or the newest device or the updated version of the software.  

I seriously wonder if we're working so hard to find new ways to ‘improve’ everything because we're just afraid to admit what we know to be true about learning: not a lot of it happens by being ‘taught.’   

Here's truth: You can't teach someone something they don't want to learn. And if we really wanted learning to happen, we'd teach less. Piaget is credited with saying that ‘every act of teaching deprives the child of an opportunity for discovery.’   

Yeah. That.  

Maybe we should stop working so hard to make something so natural as learning fit into something as unnatural as schools. Just let the kids learn, for goodness' sake. Maybe we'd learn something too."

April 2023, LinkedIn

See also: https://bigquestions.institute

Johan S Ross

CAO at HULT, Sr Advisor at Peter Drucker Society Europe, co-inventor of LEGO Serious Play, and owner at Grönadals Egendom

“New business models for business education?

To managers, consultants, and educators:

Business school leaders are no strangers to change and adaptation. Business education has been undergoing significant and continuous transformation to meet the changing needs of students and the workforce. There are many positive examples.

Yet, meeting the needs of students and employers is a continuous challenge. Who wants to be seen as falling behind or worse be seen as slipping towards irrelevance? What new business models are emerging?

Since the Covid-19 pandemic the rise of online and hybrid programs is a new normal.  Experiential learning has spread from executive to undergraduate education. Teaching theoretical knowledge is no longer enough, so fundamental and specialized skills needed for real-world challenges is moving into the forefront.  

The emphasis on flexibility and personalization is also on the rise. Students can sometimes customize their program of study based on their specific interests and career goals. Boundaries between providers are blurring when traditional institutions integrate into their education what new providers offer.

Add what AI-enabled tools can do and are already doing. Many professors and administrators seem to panic as they mostly see the foundation of formal education shaking. Admission practices, curricula content, teaching and learning approaches, and how to assess learning all will have to be adapted to a world of ChatGPT-n, and its increasingly capable mates.

So, what are educators doing to adapt to and embrace these changes? How are existing business models be adjusted to better attract students and prepare them for the rapidly changing business and technological landscape? What are emerging business models for business education that can provide more opportunities for students to learn, grow and succeed? What is the right balance between the traditional and new approaches to provide the best education possible?” 

January 2023, LinkedIn

Read also: Ladd, T. & Ross, J. (2021, February 15). Hybrid classes transform learning. The EFMD Business Magazine. https://www.globalfocusmagazine.com/hybrid-classes-transform-learning/

Gilly Salmon

CEO and Principal Consultant at Education Alchemists Ltd

“It’s midnight and you are in front of your TV. You’ve just checked your phone and you have a busy day tomorrow. You should go off to bed. But you stay and watch the next episode of the new drama you started following this evening. Why?  

Someone went before, planned and piloted to keep you hooked. They worked out how to pull in millions like you. Maybe there are ‘cliff-hangers’ or intrigue (oh what next?), powerful characters and themes? Perhaps the storyline taps into your own experience or hopes or dreams in some way and feels authentic and relevant to you.

Of course, I know there are risks to ‘binge watching’. But before you condemn…  

What if you could capture that positive connectedness and desire to continue, in your education courses?”

October 2021, OEB Insights

Read also: Salmon, G. (2019). May the fourth be with you: Creating education 4.0. Journal of Leanring Development, 6(2). https://doi.org/10.56059/jl4d.v6i2.352

Teaching Here and There

A podcast series exploring emerging practices in hybrid teaching in higher education. With Dominic Pates, James Rutherford & Ivan Sikora.