Home-based Learning (HBL) can be understood as a program whereby learning takes place digitally, often through a video call, with educational resources on the SLS (Student Learning Space) or parked neatly in google folders. While blended learning refers to the combination of face-to-face lessons and HBL days.
Did you know, blended learning is now a permanent element of the school curriculum?
(Source: MOE Press Releases: Blended Learning to Enhance Schooling Experience and Further Develop Students into Self-Directed Learners)
To some students and educators, that may come across as good news, while to others, that may sound like a horrible plan. However, Love it or Hate it - HBL is here to stay.
Have you ever wondered why HBL can be so loved by some, yet so hated by others?
Well, your personality type plays a role in answering that!
Under the DISC model, it describes four main styles: Dominance(D), Influence(I), Steady(S) and Cautious(C). While everyone has a mixture of each style, most people tend to fall into one or two main DISC quadrants. With different personality types, it meant that people are motivated and stressed out by different factors. Depending on how adaptable a person can be, a huge change towards learning digitally can set off certain triggers.
Why do some people hate it?
When learning and teaching remotely, students and educators of different personality types may encounter some of these problems:
1. According to the Buffer’s State of Remote Work Survey, it established “loneliness” as the second biggest struggle with working remotely.
This sense of loneliness can be felt more particularly for the I style, who typically enjoys forming more connection with others, and appreciates more attention from their peers, through immediate responses, or affirmation, something that might be lacking on the online space when all their peers have muted their mics, or worse, turned off their webcameras. This sense of loneliness is amplified when students have to take on their work alone at home, without the option of asking their classmates or tablemates by their side.
2. There seems to be a lack of work-life balance.
For those who tend to be more practical and structured, they would prefer to compartmentalise and draw clear differences between work and rest. However, when lines between the two start to become blurry due to the lack of face to face interaction, resulting in the more impromptu calls and text messages, the C style may find it extremely stressful and tiring. (Source: The World Economic Forum, Article: Your Personality Type Affects How You Deal With an “Always On” Work Culture)
This is also prominent for educators who feel that they need to always be available since online messaging tools and video calls are the only ways for students to ask questions.
3. A sudden change in the workplace, the environment for learning can be stressful.
This, in particular, stresses out the S style who generally regards their home as the safe haven. Thus, when we suddenly introduce this concept of Work From Home, they may feel that the safe place of their home as a place to relax, and destress have been breached, making them feel uncomfortable.
4. Feeling a sense of losing control.
For D-style educators, they may be frustrated when they see destruction in their lessons plans or the time limitations of their activities due to the unforeseen technological problems.
How can HBL benefit all personality types? Or in other words… How can we all learn to love it?
1. With HBL, there can actually be a greater sense of camaraderie.
This is because both students and educators must learn to be more connected in order to ensure everyone is on the same page. This leads to more actions like regular check-ins or obtaining feedback from students more frequently, in order to better improve their learning experience. Besides, there is something in common for both students and educators now - we are all experiencing this change to HBL TOGETHER. Interestingly, sometimes the more tech-savvy students end up becoming teachers to their teachers!
2. To strike a better work-life balance, it is important to set clear boundaries. It is not about being selfish, but rather, understanding the concept of respecting each other’s time and space.
As an educator, let the students know that you are unavailable after 7 pm and on weekends. Likewise for students, set boundaries and common end times when it comes to project work. For example, the call must end by 9 pm, in order to have sufficient rest for the next day. The last thing you want to happen is to be stressed out and overworked in your home, which is supposed to bring you joy and comfort.
3. As for those who struggle initially to adapt to changes, it might be helpful if you take some time to simply reorganise your house and come up with a designated spot for learning or teaching.
With a newfound routine, you will find yourself to be more at ease and more ready for the day.
4. Furthermore, it is not true that on the online space, you will lose control.
For educators, there are plenty of online tools available that can help you manage or recapture your student’s attention. For example, the availability of emojis on zoom and google meet allows you to check for their response. The use of Jamboard to track discussions and projects.
At Youth Inspired Consulting, we also provide plenty of tools and tricks educators can use to better engage with their students.
Interestingly, video calls seem to appeal to D-style teachers more as they can easily control their discussions with features like “spotlight” or the automatic unmute of mics.
5. This may come as a surprise to some, but the online space actually allows for equal representation for the extroverted and the introverted.
On video calls, everyone is given an opportunity to speak and their voice can all be heard. There is even the chat function for the more shy people to give their comments. Thus, the HBL does not put anyone in a disadvantageous position (given you have strong reliable wifi and is adequately tech-trained.)
To summarise, here are the three key takeaways:
Blended learning is here to stay, as it is now a permanent feature in the school's curriculum.
Know your personality type in order to better understand why you may have struggled with HBL.
HBL may not be that scary after all, when you realise how it can play to your strengths.
Hence, the transition to HBL (and thus Blended Learning) may not be that scary of a thing anymore when one can recognise clearly what are the different forms of a hindrance, and what are some ways things can be better improved.
If you wish to learn more about what specific personality types struggle with on the online space, and what motivates them, do not hesitate to contact us and find out more! At Youth Inspired Consulting, we pride ourselves in our ability to pass on tips and tricks about managing the different personality types.