What is Hybrid Learning?

Monday, April 11, 2022

The social interactions of online courses just don’t compare to in-person classrooms and in-person classes can be cumbersome when you consider travelling time, travelling expenses and getting out of your sweatpants.

What we need … is a hybrid model!

 
What is Hybrid learning?

Hybrid learning is similar to hybrid cars. It combines the old and the new to give you a more robust model.

As a student of a hybrid learning course you can benefit from great technological advancements and proven teaching methods. 

So for example, learning that can be done at any time like reading articles, viewing recorded lectures, accessing lecture notes or completing assignments can be facilitated via the internet. 

Whereas, learning methods that are most effective when conducted in person like classroom discussions, group projects or lecturer feedback are enabled too. 

How is hybrid learning different from blended learning?

It is essentially the same thing, but there is a slight difference in the two terms.  Courses offered by Irish institutions often have to be verified by the governing body QQI and for a course to be considered ‘Blended Learning’ it has to meet certain specifications. So a course might in fact offer hybrid learning but officially the institution is only allowed to promote it as a ‘Blended Learning’ course. 

Why would I study through hybrid learning?

Hybrid learning offers the best of two worlds.

It provides the flexibility of online and the enhanced feedback of in-person interactions.

The flexibility of online learning

When you have access to the internet you can complete your hybrid course anywhere anytime. 

You could catch up on last night's lecture on the bus to work. 

You could do the required reading on your lunch break.

You can submit your assignment whilst going through security at the airport. 

An unexpected family emergency means you can’t watch the lecture live? In years gone by that would have meant an opportunity missed. You would’ve had to ask your classmates for their notes, (fingers crossed they take good notes!) and potentially feel anxious about falling behind.

With online learning all of this is avoided. You can simply watch the recorded lecture at a time that suits you!

Is the wifi at home acting up? 

No problem! 

You can use the wifi in the college or the local library or the local Starbucks! 

The options are endless. 

You’re not chained to learning at a certain time or a certain place. You have the freedom to learn from anywhere and everywhere. 

The enhanced feedback of in-person learning

When it comes to learning, feedback is immensely important. 

The student who never receives any feedback is doomed to repeat the same mistakes for eternity. 

Without feedback we can’t be pointed in the right direction. We don’t know if we’re on the right track and it leads to blindly stumbling around hoping to hit the mark eventually.

This is where in-person learning shines and where online learning pales in comparison.

There is a flow to in-person conversations that Zoom calls can’t replicate. 

When emailing, you might feel constrained by punctuation or grammar or a fear of ‘how this text on a screen might be interpreted’.

But in person you can speak freely and have all your questions answered in two minutes rather than an email thread that goes back and forth for days on end. 

Instead of providing individual feedback for the whole Zoom call to hear, the lecturer can set the class a task, then walk around and provide personalised feedback discreetly.

Similarly, if you’re too embarrassed to ask your question in front of the whole class you can hang back and ask the lecturer in private. 

This is where the learner truly benefits from the in-person side of the hybrid learning model. It offers personalised feedback with the option for real time clarification.

Our Hybrid learning courses

If you’re interested in learning more about our hybrid / blended learning approach you can visit our dedicated page here.

Alternatively, if you’d like to peruse our selection of blended learning courses you can see them by clicking here.