Table of Contents
- What is a hybrid course?
- Types of Hybrid Learning
- Further Training
(Figure 1: Hybrid Learning Illustration)
Hybrid Learning can mean many things depending on the starting modality (whether you are moving to hybrid from an online modality or traditional modality). It can also be defined differently depending on whether the instruction will be given synchronously or asynchronously, and it may be facilitated differently based on the size of the class.
While the details on how much activity is moved online and how much is still done in the classroom may depend on situational factors, the Online Learning Consortium defines hybrid learning as online activity that is “mixed with classroom meetings, replacing a significant percentage, but not all required face-to-face instructional activities.”
In other words, the goal of hybrid learning is to combine the traditional classroom with the online modality so that part of the instruction takes place online and part remains in scheduled face-to-face instruction. The class substitutes some regularly scheduled class meetings with planned online course content delivery.
Since students must expect much of the course to occur asynchronously online, they are required to take on more responsibility for keeping up with the online instruction, being prepared for in-class (or synchronous online) meetings, and balancing the new modality with their other classes. In a more traditional format, work outside of the classroom tends to be seen as ancillary--as preparation for receiving the instruction, which happens almost entirely in person. In hybrid learning, much of the instruction is moved to the web, meaning what happens outside of the classroom is just as central to their learning as the classroom itself. Students who don’t take that seriously are not likely to be successful.
Instructors sometimes think of hybrid learning as another way to have lecture in the classroom and assigned homework outside with fewer class meetings and less instruction. This is not the case. Faculty are required to replace much of the instruction they would have delivered in person with alternatives. Most frequently, this is accomplished through the use of a Flipped Classroom approach, where lecture content, demonstrations, and other planned learning activities are delivered via the institution’s learning management system (D2L in our case).
This means that faculty will need to work ahead to convert these learning experiences to something that can be delivered online, most often video. Meanwhile classroom time can focus on active learning activities, discussion, Q&A, homework, and formative assessments. Students can be engaged in authentic, collaborative learning experiences, all following up and affirming the students’ experiences with the instruction delivered online.
Again, hybrid learning should not mean lecture in class and send the students home to read a textbook and do online assignments. Research has shown, and effective practice has demonstrated, that the best hybrid instruction allows the students to interact with content and engage in learning activities before, during, and after the face-to-face class.
There are many benefits to hybrid learning, not the least of which is that it allows for an easier and faster transition to a socially-distanced world! In the event of a major crisis such as the COVID pandemic in 2020, being ready to leverage the benefits of online learning and face-to-face is ideal for flexibility.
Hybrid Learning models add greater flexibility to your course, lessening contact hours, building capacity, and maximizing instructional resources while providing flexibility for students who can access instruction when and as often as they like. The ability to re-watch a lesson or lecture that they would only have one chance to view in a traditional setting is an immeasurable benefit.
Hybrid Learning does present a few challenges. It requires a retooling of your course that may include revision of objectives and pedagogy. It can be time-consuming to make the shift and requires much more preparation time and facilitation time.
This section will briefly describe a few different ways to structure a hybrid course. For a deeper dive into social distancing measures, visit Hybrid Synchronous with Social Distancing Measures.
If a course is offered twice week (like M/W) then class time is offered 50% asynchronous online and 50% face-to-face. The class is divided into two groups. On one day, one group meets in person while the other does online content. On the second day, the two switch.
DayGroup AGroup B
In this model, a course meeting three times a week (like M/W/F) divides into thirds. Two thirds of the course content is online, and one third is in-person. Each day a third of the class meets for the in-person content, while the other two thirds of the course do asynchronous content that day.
DayGroup AGroup BGroup C
The course is primarily an asynchronous online course delivered in D2L. However, some structured classroom learning experiences such as hands-on studios and lab activities are still provided.
Hybrid Touch Points
Again, the course is primarily an asynchronous online course delivered in D2L. However, scheduled, meaningful in-person experiences are also provided at specific points during the semester, though not weekly.
Structured asynchronous learning is delivered through D2L, coupled with synchronous meetings via approved technology, during live face-to-face meetings. Learning is designed to actively engage in-person students with others joining via live synchronous technology.
For more details on hybrid learning including tips on how to create hybrid learning experiences, check out DLI’s professional development module, The Hybrid Classroom.
Arts & Sciences Support of Education Through Technology. (n.d.). Hybrid course design. Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://www.colorado.edu/assett/faculty-resources/resources/hybrid-course-design
Coswatte, S. (2014, September 18). Updated e-learning definitions. Retrieved from https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/updated-e-learning-definitions/
Hybrid Learning @ Penn State. (n.d.). What is hybrid learning? Retrieved December 17, 2020, from https://sites.psu.edu/hybridlearning/what-is-hybrid/
Martyn, M. (2003). The hybrid online model: Good practice. Educause Quarterly, 1. 18-23.
Mossavar-Rahmani, F. & Larson-Daugherty, C. (2007). Supporting the hybrid learning model: A new proposition. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 3(1). 1-12.
Sener, J. (2015, August 17). E-learning definitions. Retrieved December 17, 2020, from https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/updated-e-learning-definitions-2/
University of Colorado Boulder. (n.d.). Hybrid course design. Retrieved from https://www.colorado.edu/assett/faculty-resources/resources/hybrid-course-design.
7 Things You Should Know About Flipped Classrooms. (2012, February 07). Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://library.educause.edu/resources/2012/2/7-things-you-should-know-about-flipped-classrooms