Hybrid and inclusivity

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I was delighted to be asked to speak at an event this week with Serena Gonsalves-Fersch about Hybrid Learning and the future of corporate training. It was a really smart conversation with some fabulous questions from the audience. We managed to answer some of them but there’s a long list of questions we didn’t get to, so over the next few blog posts I’ll have a go at answering them.

The first one I’ve got is:

How can we be as inclusive as possible in hybrid work designs?


I love this question. Inclusivity should be about providing equality of access for everyone and if you take hybrid up, as I suggested recently, it’s harder to be any more inclusive.

I’d suggest our current structures are more exclusive.

The sessions that can only be accessed at a certain time or day will exclude people with flexible working roles. We mitigate this with more sessions but means there is an attendance deficit if people are in the same groups every time.

The requirement to be at a place excludes those with mobility issues. We mitigate this by booking spaces that have improved access but this can be costly in terms of travel. Moving to a new venue to ‘accommodate’ someone can create division and hostility.

The space and context the learning is delivered in will exclude those without invitation or access. I attended an event in the City of London once and felt so far out of my depth with the other members of the audience I left as soon as was practicable.

What this means is more of a challenge for the learning professional. The default will no longer be the course (face to face or online), the support document, the video, blogroll, podcast, action learning, etc. It means crafting resource that allows for both self-direction – the selection of priority by the individual – but also self-determination – the ability of people to choose resources outside those ‘provided’. This creates issues over data collection, ‘approved’ content, permissions and status which LnD will need to be confident in solving.

This is a design choice; if you’re choosing to exclude some forms of learning, you will be excluding some people. It’s not unreasonable to do so if a value proposition is not met. However, supporting people to choose with inclusive alternatives needs to be made available.

2 thoughts on “Hybrid and inclusivity

  1. You mention physical accessibility – those with mobility issues – but let’s not forget IT accessibility too. Microsoft software is now very good in this regard, but the trainer does have to remember to utilise the accessibility tools when designing any IT based courseware or training materials.


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