What Is Hybrid Instruction?

Hybrid Instruction is entirely not a new concept. It has been doing round for decades.

However, it has not been tested to a scale that we are not yet familiar with. Also, we cannot deny the fact that although hybrid instruction has been popular in recent years, the ongoing pandemic has really helped launch this "not-so-new" pedagogy into learning.

This model of learning is often used interchangeably with "blended learning." They are mistaken for one another as both contain many of the same instructional elements. However, they are two different learning models.

"Blended learning" conglomerates in-person teaching with asynchronous learning methods, where the entire learning process is conducted online. Students work on online exercises and watch instructional videos at their convenience.

It is also confused with eLearning, commonly called distance learning. But there are also certain distinctions among these learning models. "eLearning" makes reference to a learning model that works entirely online. All instruction and course activities are provided in an online or virtual classroom that's contained in a learning management system. There is no requirement for students to attend a classroom in person.

Whereas "Hybrid Teaching" refers to a teaching methodology where teachers simultaneously teach in-person and distance students. This model can also use asynchronous teaching methods to supplement synchronous, face-to-face instruction.

By this, we mean schools practicing hybrid-learning model have a combination of remote and face-to-face Instruction. There are alternating periods of in-person and distance learning. For example, they have two "in-person" school days, say Monday and Thursday, and have online classes for the remainder of the week. To be precise, the hybrid instructions combine face-to-face and online education into a single cohesive experience. Few classes take place on campus, while the remainders have students working online.

Since hybrid learning is a relatively new and popular term, there is still a little confusion about "What hybrid learning is in actuality."

So, here we have enlisted a few other interpretations defining “ Hybrid Learning” commonly used by reputable resources:

  • In-Person and Online:

We often hear that hybrid learning "straddles" blended learning. This means that while they are two similar things, they are still distinct methodologies. The main difference between the two is that hybrid learning emphasizes face-to-face and online learning, often with no preference for either.

  • A Pedagogy:

Another way of defining hybrid learning – particularly relates to blended learning – is that it is a pedagogy or teaching strategy more than a set of processes or procedures.

It embodies an ideology that provides the scaffolding for a wide-ranging variety of teaching strategies that fall under the umbrella of blended learning.

  • The blended learning model describes a process or practice, while Hybrid teaching is a methodological approach that defines various processes or practices. Blended learning is tactical, and hybrid teaching is strategic. 
  • Based on a technology adoption spectrum, the term is defined following these significant pointers:

In-person only lessons rely entirely 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 traditional teaching, but it still focuses primarily on teachers and students being physically present for the majority of the teaching time.

While Hybrid teaching describes an educational model in which students spend at least half of their time learning online and the rest time learning in physical classrooms.

To better understand the term, we bring you this explanatory video where Seth McKinzie, Chief Development Officer, Verano, explains this learning model most simply and talks about how Hybrid learning looks. 

Have a Look!

By the time you probably would have got an idea of Hybrid Instruction, but to ensure that the hybrid model works appropriately, much planning is required. We need to check that the two formats capitalize on each other's strengths.

Needless to add, it is rightly pointed out by eThink that the technological boom in recent decades has led to the development of digital learning and training solutions for every phase of life across all sectors. It is not only today's education initiatives that are better able to harness technologies to customize learning materials and create more engaging learning experiences for students, but they also provide ways to easily integrate continuous workplace education into the day-to-day routine of professionals in their respective fields.

The newer the technologies, the better they are at making it easier and more efficient than ever for learners. They are more updated and free to learn at their own pace and convenience without devoting large amounts of personal time to study. A variety of learning activities can be delivered now, in their regular workflow with the right resources. However, while online learning tools are highly effective in many ways, they are not always the most effective way to address a given learning objective. It is here that hybrid learning approaches come into play.

Hybrid teaching combines traditional classroom experiences, experiential learning objectives, and digital course delivery. It stresses using the best possible option to meet each learning objective. Unlike blended learning,  which balances the face-to-face and online aspects within a course, the classes with a hybrid learning model vary widely according to the subject's requirement being taught and specific learners' needs.

Hybrid instruction mode offers several unique advantages that any other model is unlikely to offer.

With a hybrid instructional methodology, students can get lectures on demand. If they ever miss an online class or have difficulty in understanding a concept, they can go back and re-watch the class video or tap onto the PowerPoint slides, if provided to learn. This can be extremely helpful during their exams, as well.

Furthermore, since it is a mix of online and in-person Instruction, the face-to-face classes can be utilized more constructively for the kinds of activities that can't take place in an online class. Besides, students can use the offline session to dispel any doubts, and professors can also conduct more in-depth discussions. Thus, we may say we can use this once or twice in a week in-person session to focus and cover everything in the provide time, which is hard to do in an online class.

 The hybrid model of education is also excellent for meeting each learner's needs, as each child has their own pace and level of understanding. They all learn differently. Such classes lend themselves to various styles; it allows students to learn at their convenience; they can learn through lectures, recorded material, slides or presentations, whatever they're comfortable in.

 Another benefit is that hybrid classes provide incredible flexibility to their learners. Although this model requires a certain amount of time to learn things, the time consumption is significantly lesser than traditional classes; which helps learners maintain balance among their work, studies, and social life.

Also, if you're planning to enrol for an online course, then a hybrid course is a perfect choice. It may serve as a stepping step and help you understand if online classes would be suitable for you before you opt for this incredible mixture of online and in-person learning models.

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About the Author
Author: Saniya Khan
Saniya Khan I am Saniya Khan, Copy-Editor at EdTechReview - India’s leading edtech media. As a part of the group, my aim is to spread awareness on the growing edtech market by guiding all educational stakeholders on latest and quality news, information and resources. A voraciously curious writer with a dedication to excellence creates interesting yet informational pieces, playing with words since 2016.

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