The world is changing, and not just because of the pandemic. For Bard LLI members, that means we might encounter a new way to attend classes—hybrid learning.

Remote learning, so common for us this past year, meant using the Zoom application, searching and remembering Zoom links for classes and other Zoom sessions, and using the chat and digital “raised hand” functions in the Zoom app. Then there were the “You’re muted, we can’t hear you” call-outs many times a day. There are advantages to Zoom classes. It’s nice to see classmates’ faces with names instead of masks attached and to not worry about finding a parking spot on campus, driving in bad weather, or trying to decipher the unique AV configuration of each room. Plus we can go to class in slippers with a fresh cup of joe.

On-Campus Learning

O how we miss it. Hearing good morning greetings in the hospitality room, chatting with friends between classes, enjoying the inspiration and beauty of the Bard campus, lunching in the Commons, meeting new members, smiling at the young Bard students who perhaps were not aware that learning is a lifelong pleasure. Yes, we can’t wait to get back to campus. But we can’t quite yet.

This Hybrid Thing

So what’s this hybrid thing? We hope it’s a chance to enjoy the benefits of both ways of learning. Bard LLI is working with Bard College to develop a plan, pandemic strictures permitting, to allow LLI members to attend a limited number of classes synchronously—at the same time—on-site or online. You could register for an in-person experience on campus or register to join that same class remotely through your well-worn Zoom app.

We are in the early stages of hybrid planning. Right now, our access to the Bard campus is tightly restricted, and there is uncertainty about future Covid guidelines. Conducting hybrid classes will require a new set of technology skills, and Bard LLI Technology/Infrastructure has assembled a Hybrid Learning Task Force to develop implementation plans and skills.

With optimism and enthusiasm, Bard LLI recognizes that both online and hybrid learning are likely to be permanent elements of education today. We hope to participate in this emerging paradigm and offer members a rich opportunity to engage in many ways with LLI’s outstanding curriculum.