Relay learning is a concept that is similar to the activity, relay, itself. Confused?
Okay, first. How does a relay race work?
We have a bunch of participants who run to pass the baton to the next player on their team. This process also repeats with all the players on the team. It is essentially like a task broken down into smaller tasks to efficiently get a team to complete said task.
Now, imagine trying to implement this method with learning. Say, there are 10 people in a study group, each individual would teach someone something that they know best. A chain of lessons, of sorts. And that is what the concept of relay learning entails
Current problems faced in learning outcomes
Do you ever wonder if our current methods of learning are maybe getting a little redundant? Classroom learning can be efficient to a certain point. However, in due course, the personalization needed to benefit these different learning capacities gets misplaced. Do you get the gist?
There’s only so much that a teacher can get a crowded classroom to learn, regardless of their educational skills. Even if we take the average of benefits received by the classroom, which indicates the mid-range, the outcomes remain unchanged. What about the extremes of this spectrum? Are they still getting the most they can out of the course?
Yet another problem faced in traditional learning styles is the costs involved and subsequent lack of accessibility. Educational costs have gone up in recent years, making education inaccessible to underprivileged strata of society. While several scholarships and grants aim to bridge this widening economic gap in education, learning is still a privilege for many.
The final nail to the traditional learning system is the quality and quantity of teachers. Teachers are underpaid in the world, regardless of the country. As such, very few educated individuals have the motivation to become teachers. And those who take up this profession or related roles are either stuck in the box of age-old practices or underqualified. Yet another challenge is the required qualifications and experience to become a teacher. But should teaching be so complicated?
In comes Relay Learning.
Benefits of relay learning
Benefits of this style of learning include a more individually designed learner-teacher understanding. Considering that the learning takes place in a social setting, it could help with learning the concepts better.
While improving communication skills and interpersonal relationships, it could also boost the confidence and self-esteem of individuals involved.
However, the signature benefit could be that it enables learning without paying an exorbitant amount. This means treating education as a service, rather than as a commodity. It also means that the teacher can adapt to the learner’s capacity.
Furthermore, restraints on teaching professions are no longer applicable. With relay learning, anyone willing to spread knowledge can teach someone something without needing a specific degree.
Finally, relay learning makes education a communal and social activity as opposed to the isolated and independent construct we follow. Moreover, education becomes free with this learning style and no longer follows an authoritarian approach prevalent now. Meaning, you can learn and teach any subject of your choosing, as long as you have the right level of knowledge and a passion to teach and learn.
Relay learning focuses on a more community style of learning with the teachers and learners being interdependent. This ideology of learning helps since the approach targets and is an effective way to achieve impact at scale. There are many learning styles that are diverse and that’s important since learners are also pretty diverse. It is important to ensure that we approach learning with more personalization. This means that more learners can truly benefit from education, rather than just a few.