The Hybrid learning program involves getting children in the age group 10-14 in a village to form their own groups of 5-6 each, thus enabling them to co-create a learning space within their community. Digital devices and content placed directly in the hands of children providing them with opportunities and choices to learn on their own. Community based children’s groups engage in choice-based learning and are guided by the coaches and youth members in the communities. The communities are organized to facilitate and support the learning activities and assessments.
The program aims to create an open learning mechanism enabling children and youth to prepare for school, work, and life. The program has been designed on the premise that children can be motivated to learn on their own. Children learn on tablets and do projects or conduct activities (e.g. role plays, playing games) and then present what they have learned either in front of a live audience of parents or on a video.
Our internal assessments (an RCT conducted in Dausa, Rajasthan) indicate that children in treatment groups perform about 12 percentage points better than the control groups in school curricular subjects, although they are not taught and there is no age-grade curriculum mapped to textbooks created. There are three factors that likely affect the outcome:
- Group Learning
- Simplified and Interactive Content
- A general increase in motivation to learn which counters the negative response to the boredom of the classroom. (over the last two years the average monthly use of tablets by groups is 13 days/month for about an hour every day although there is no “class” held and no one tells them to sit and study.)
Pratham believes that it takes a village and technology to educate a child. Therefore, Pratham has identified three pillars for the implementation of the H Learning program – Social Structure, Digital Infrastructure and Teaching Learning Methodology.
Pratham works with the village/urban community to create an environment of learning for children. This is done by interacting with different stakeholders of the community, raising awareness on the education scenario in their community and creating ownership amongst them for the learning interventions.
The technology aspect of the project involves providing the community access to different digital devices to enhance creation of open learning spaces. This is implemented to motivate the volunteers to facilitate the children’s groups while ensuring the continuation of their own education and learning.
Pratham strives to make content engaging and interesting for learners. It works across three domains of learning – preparation for school, work and life. With the focus on creating contextualized content, the program curatesvideos and games into interesting packages – “courses”. Making learning a choice- driven process. Task based games are being introduced to enable computational thinking among learners.
Building on the know-how, success and reach of our education programs, the digital content endeavours to be an additional input in the overall development of children. Additionally, Pratham collaborates with numerous NGO Partners and platforms, to curate, develop and co-create learning resources for the non-traditional curriculum.
Pratham started its digital intervention with the Hybrid learning program in the year 2015. Today, the H-learning program is a community driven, digitally aided intervention running in approximately 1000 communities of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh reaching out to over 60,000 students with 6,000 tablets. In 2019, the program has been initiated in urban communities of Pune, Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.
Subsequently, the digital resources and tablets were made available in Pratham’s foundational programs, Vocational Programs and in the Early Childhood Education programs on an experimental basis. Today, digital hardware and software is available across 21 states reaching 300,000 learners through 18,000 tablets across India. These resources created for different age groups are available on the Pratham Open School YouTube Channel and as learning applications on the Google Playstore.The support of donors and partners has not only led to the expansion of Pratham’s digital programs but also enabled the formation of core content groups within Pratham, producing over 2500 videos and 300 learning games across 11 regional languages.
The 1000 communities of the Hybrid Learning Program continue to be ‘demonstration sites’ where new ideas are implemented, and new resources are experimented with. The program has evolved to enable the learner to make choices from an array of ‘courses’ available across domains and areas of interests. It has also empowered the community by engaging stakeholders and creating a cadre of village level facilitators or ‘coaches’ to support the learning ecosystem in the community.
Pratham in its digital intervention measures the involvement and motivation of students through their interaction with the device and their engagement with the content resources. This helps us understand students’ choice, viewing behaviour and interests.
In the period of July 2017 to January 2019, the digital learning tools reached out to more that 300,000 learners through 18,000 tablets and organised more than 19,800 learning groups. With minimal intervention, learners engage with the app for 12 – 14 days a month on an average for 55 – 60 min per day. This is a testimony to the self drive of learners.A total of 70+ million mins were clocked on the app in the last 18 months.