Why is Hybrid Learning?
Hybrid learning implements synchronous lessons taught simultaneously in-person and online. It is a type of blended learning that focuses more on bridging the physical classroom and virtual learning spaces closer together into a more complete education. Put another way, hybrid learning is a form of synchronous learning that happens both physically and remotely.
However, an exact definition of hybrid learning still varies based on the source.
Other Definitions of Hybrid Learning
Since hybrid learning is a relatively new term, there is still very little consensus when we ask “What is hybrid learning?” As such, it can be very confusing locking down what individuals or institutions mean with the term.
So, while we have defined what hybrid learning is to us, here are a few other interpretations in common use by reputable sources.
1. In-Person and Online
One common phrase that comes up is that hybrid learning “overlaps” with blended learning. This means that while they are two separate things, they are still distinct methodologies. The main difference between the two, in this case, is that hybrid learning focuses on both in-person and online learning, often with no preference for one or the other.
2. A Pedagogy
Another way that hybrid learning is defined – especially in relation to blended learning – is that it is a pedagogy or teaching strategy more than a set of processes or procedures. As such, it represents an ideology that provides the scaffolding for a wide variety of teaching strategies that fall under the umbrella of blended learning.
3. On a Spectrum
Some sources see hybrid learning as a point along a spectrum of technological adoption. The spectrum that this definition follows usually follows these main points:
- Face-to-face only lessons that only rely on traditional teaching methods. These methods may incorporate some technology, but it will be primarily devices installed in a physical classroom.
- Blended learning is a model that uses online learning to supplement in-class teaching, but it still focuses primarily on teachers and students being physically present for the majority of the teaching time.
- Hybrid learning describes an educational model in which students spend at least half of their time learning online and the rest of their time learning in physical classrooms (according to this interpretation).
- Online only is just what it sounds like: a course that is entirely online
4. Hybrid Learning as a Synonym
To matters even more confusing, many reputable organizations ranging from the Online Learning Consortium to the United States Department of Education treat blended learning and hybrid learning as the same thing.