Hybrid Learning at IT Carlow

What to know before you go… 

IT CarlowThe current pandemic has meant a change in how we now experience higher education, but here in Institute of Technology Carlow, we are still committed to providing a high quality educational experience for each of our learners… just in a different way. In the coming academic year, in order to protect our entire community of learners, you will be both on and off campus as we move to a more hybrid learning environment. But what does that mean exactly…? 

What do we mean by hybrid learning?

Hybrid Learning is a combination of traditional face-to-face classroom (or other physical space), experiential learning and online activities. It is about finding the right mix of on site and off site learning activities that best supports you as a learner to achieve your programme learning outcomes. For that reason, some of you may be on campus more than others at different times throughout the week.  

But don’t worry, your learning experience will not be compromised in any way. We are committed to providing a safe, high quality learning experience wherever you are. Whether you are in a physical classroom or a virtual one (through Blackboard our virtual learning platform), the learning environment in Institute of Technology Carlow will still be an engaging and interactive one, where you will be supported to develop both personally and professionally.  

What will the virtual classroom look like?

Here in Institute of Technology Carlow, we use Blackboard Collaborate as our virtual classroom. Through Blackboard Collaborate, you will be able to interact with your lecturers and with your peers through live sessions that mimic the physical classroom. By using the features of Collaborate such as breakout groups, interactive polls and whiteboards, you will learn in a way that resembles the physical classroom. In addition, using Blackboard, you will be engaging in online activities synchronously (in real-time) and asynchronously (in your own time). This will support you to be flexible in your learning and to learn independently outside of scheduled class times. 

What kind of learning experience will I have? 

Whether on campus or not, the learning experience in Institute of Technology Carlow will continue to be underpinned by values that are core to all of the Institute’s activities. As a result, our hybrid learning environment aims to be: 

Connected

We will continue to be connected in our learning. When off campus, our extensive Institute platforms, including, for example, Blackboard and MS Teams, will continue to allow us to create the most effective learning environments possible, ones in which you will remain at the centre of all we do. Just like on campus, you will have opportunities to conduct group work, to collaborate and to engage in social learning. Being connected during this time will enable you to create lasting, meaningful connections with your lecturers and peers, together creating a community of learners. 

Inclusive and supportive

We will support all students in their learning and will provide access to flexible learning opportunities whether on site or off. Your learning is a holistic experience encompassing social, personal and professional aspects and in order for you to develop as a learner, we will ensure that your learning environment is a safe, secure and trusted space, where you feel supported at all times. 

Creative

Our learning will be creative. As we move to hybrid learning, you will be embracing new technologies and experiences as you progress through your programme. In that sense, you will not only be developing knowledge of your subject area but will also be enhancing your digital skills. We see this as being an opportunity for you to further develop and to become more confident both personally and professionally.

Further support 

As you adapt to this hybrid learning environment we will be here to support you and you will find a range of resources on TLC Student Hub (accessible through Blackboard) to guide you through the use of all our online platforms. Throughout the year, we will be here to help you and to ensure that you have the best learning experience possible, so if there is anything else you feel you need, please contact us here at the Teaching and Learning Centre, at tlc@itcarlow.ie