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What Is Hybrid Learning? A Guide

Hybrid learning is an education model where some students attend class in person while others attend it online. Instructors use video conferencing to teach both remote and in-person students simultaneously.

Hybrid classes may include asynchronous learning elements to supplement face-to-face classroom sessions, such as online exercises and pre-recorded video lessons.

The learning integrates the most significant parts of in-person and online learning while allowing students from all walks of life to access education.

With the adoption of new technology in the education sector, learners and Instructors are embracing the idea of hybrid learning. Some kindergartens have adopted this education system. Kids as little as five years old learn through this system.

This guide will take you through what you need to know about hybrid learning as a teacher and a student.

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What is the difference between Hybrid and Blended learning?

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People confuse hybrid and blended learning. Although both include the same instructional components, they’re different.

Blended learning incorporates face-to-face education with asynchronous learning approaches, in which students do online exercises and watch instructional videos in their leisure time.

Hybrid learning is a teaching style where teachers instruct in-person and remote students simultaneously. It’s a strategy that benefits people who live in rural areas or abroad.

The similarity between the two is that they both combine virtual and face-to-face learning.

How to Plan Your Hybrid Course as an Instructor?

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A good plan will allow you to succeed in any course, and hybrid courses are not an exception. You’ll want to ensure that the assignments you give students online are appropriate for online and in-person learners. The most challenging aspect of hybrid teaching is learning to blend the two experiences.

You should plan your hybrid course for at least a month. During this period, analyze and adapt any learning resources or activities that you want to incorporate from existing online or face-to-face courses and complete an analysis of your learning objectives.

As you plan a hybrid course, consider the following questions.

  • What do you want students to know after completing your hybrid course? For this, look at your course’s learning objectives, but critically assess them through the perspective of hybrid learning.
  • When considering learning objectives, which would be better accomplished online versus in-person?
  • Hybrid teaching entails more than simply shifting a component of a traditional course to the Internet. Instead, it entails creating challenging and exciting online learning activities to supplement your in-person activities. What kinds of learning activities do you expect to use in the online section of your course?
  • How will a single course’s face-to-face and online components be integrated? How will one component’s effort flow back into and support the other?
  • Students frequently have trouble arranging their work, managing their time while working online, and comprehending the consequences of the hybrid course module to learn. What are your plans for assisting your pupils in addressing these issues?
  • How will you divide your time between face-to-face and online interactions?
  • How will you split the course grading method between in-person and online activities? What methods will you use to evaluate student work in these two areas?

Tech Tools to Use in Hybrid Class

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The quality of your technology will determine how well you can teach in hybrid classrooms. You’ll need to use tools with higher levels of user-friendliness.

Here are some essential tools you need to have.

It’s critical to remember that no matter the digital solutions you choose to assist your hybrid classrooms, you must spend the time necessary to teach your learners how to use them.

Community Building in a Hybrid Classroom

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Developing a community between you, your on-site learners, and your online students is key to successfully managing a coherent hybrid classroom. You can have difficulty engaging a class if those three parties aren’t on the same page.

Here are strategies you’ll use to achieve community building.

  • When communicating with students, use inclusive language.
  • Mobilize students to interact with each other during and after class.
  • Use digital networks, social networks, and the online communities that students choose like Facebook or TikTok.
  • Use cloud-based apps and resources like Google Hangouts for real-time communication between students.
  • Convert all in-class projects to a digital format or provide an online substitute.

Strategy to Maximize Students’ Attention

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The smooth combination of online and face-to-face activities is a feature of any practical hybrid course. This integration needs careful consideration of the student experience so that students are exposed to exciting material and encouraged to interact without losing attention.

Not all activities you assign students should be entertaining but must engage students to learn and succeed.

Here are the aspects to check when you need to capture a student’s attention.

1. Use Collaborative Work to Supplement Virtual Class Meetings

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Apart from students attending classes and listening to lectures, you can put them in groups. Let them collaborate on projects, solve problems, plan, and apply what they’ve learned in new situations.

2. Create a Desire

Teachers can develop reasonable projects that can steer students to what to participate in and feel compelled to complete, whether online or in the classroom.

3. Goals and Reflection

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Students must know what they are learning and how they are progressing toward reaching the objectives. Teachers must incorporate many opportunities for students to reflect on their learning, both as a class and as individuals.

Also, students can become active learners rather than passive recipients by setting quantifiable goals.

How Should Students Get Ready For Hybrid Learning?

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For the hybrid class to be successful, students have to be prepared. As a student, here are some key points to note.

1. Check and Manage Emails

Monitor your email account daily for vital messages from the university, lecturers, or your advisor.

Use a file organization system within your email to store and manage your information better. Also, create folders for each of your classes, academic lecturers, and updates.

2. Seek Help

Introduce yourself to your professors if you haven’t. Connecting with your professor, especially in an online class, might help you stay focused in class and feel more at ease when reaching out to them later on.

If you’re having academic, financial, or personal difficulties, talk to your instructor or other campus staff or faculty. They can assist you in finding and using university services that can help you resolve such challenges.

Let your instructor know if you’re having trouble with technology or connectivity. Sharing such details in advance can aid in the development of a mutually beneficial partnership.

3. Treat Online Courses with Seriousness

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It’s challenging to establish your involvement in a hybrid class. However, professors like it when you show interest in and participate in class, even if you attend it remotely. Try your best by participating and asking questions.

4. Take Control of Your Time

As soon as you receive each syllabus, write the deadlines on a calendar. For all of your deadlines, sync your Google Calendar with Canvas.

Even with asynchronous classes, set deadlines, even if you have to make them yourself.

You can schedule target dates to hold yourself accountable to deadlines. Set aside time with your study group a few days before your exam to do revisions.

These “mini-deadlines” will help you stay on track to finish assignments and achieve your objectives.

5. Befriend Your Coursemates

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Make friends in your class! Introduce yourself to other students and participate in any discussion boards available for the course to build relationships. Your peers might be a great resource when getting information that you missed because of connectivity troubles or studying for a test.

Hybrid Learning’s Advantages

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Here are the benefits of using hybrid learning.

1. Affordability

Some students find learning incredibly expensive if they cannot get to the lecture venue. They can, however, access online courses through hybrid learning when they have the data. That is why hybrid learning exists – to assist financially challenged students.

Overseas students consider hybrid learning a more cost-effective option than traditional classroom instruction. Hybrid learning allows individuals to learn from the comfort of their own homes until they can pay the ticket costs.

For many students, the flexibility of hybrid education is life-saving in low-budget situations. And you’ll agree that having two options is less expensive than having only one.

2. Flexibility

Hybrid learning helps students make the most of their time. For example, a student may not attend a lecture in class. They can, however, join online classes.

Learners can choose the course they find most fitting depending on their schedule with this learning method. Unlike traditional or online classroom learning, hybrid learning maintains a balance.

3. Efficiency

For both instructors and students, hybrid learning produces a highly efficient atmosphere. Because of the versatility of hybrid learning, students do not have to squander energy or time unnecessarily using this form of learning.

They can create favorable learning hours. Besides, you can multitask when attending the class online.

4. Helps to Curb Teacher Shortage

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There is a teacher shortage in the United States, and hybrid learning allows teachers to reach more students while saving schools money by using virtual instructors.

Virtual instruction is a live learning option that is more accessible to specific school systems when sufficient in-person educators are unavailable.

5. Making Better Use of Teaching Materials

Combining physical classroom learning with online learning can enable smaller classrooms to accommodate more students while reserving the main rooms for critical lectures.

If an academic institution wishes to offer both in-person and online learning, they will typically need to hold two separate classes or perhaps two separate courses.

However, one of the primary advantages of hybrid learning is combining the demand for both methods, allowing a single course to appeal to both.

6. Averts Student Absenteeism

One of the most underappreciated advantages of hybrid learning is the ability to reduce course absences.

While someone may not attend a classroom, they may still take part in the class via remote learning, avoiding missing out totally.

7. You Can Create a Favorable Learning Environment

As a student, you can create a learning environment by including their workspace, music, technology, and comfortable clothes. This environment may be more effective than wearing a uniform and sitting at a desk in a classroom early in the morning.

When people are in charge of the learning process, they feel valued. When students have control over the situation, they are usually more engaged. Also, they’re motivated to finish a task.

Hybrid Learning’s Challenges

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Hybrid learning is changing the way education is being administered. However, it’s also crucial to note that this model comes with its drawbacks. Let us explore some of the cons.

1. Difficulties in Getting Students to Participate

Student participation is one of the primary obstacles of hybrid learning. It might be challenging to keep physically present students in the classroom and students learning online as engaged.

Many of the tactics professors employ to increase students’ involvement in the physical classroom may not work in a hybrid learning environment since it won’t impact virtual students.

Intense efforts to engage remote learners may cause those in the classroom to disengage.

2. Technical Issues’ Possibilities

Remote students may have various technical issues, ranging from sound issues to difficulties connecting to a live stream to more serious computer issues or an inability to use course-critical software.

Depending on the severity, they may get a positive learning experience nearly impossible. It’s also worth remembering that hybrid learning frequently necessitates using technology in the classroom, leading to technical issues and disruptions in the classroom.

3. Team Work Issues

Collaboration is more challenging to achieve in a mixed learning environment. Learners can be physically placed into groups in traditional classroom settings, but this is impossible when some students learn remotely.

As a result, combining the two learning styles creates a barrier to collaboration.

4. Problems Sharing Files and Learning Materials

It is challenging to assign or distribute learning materials to students because some are remote and others are in class.

Another important consideration is compatibility. Consider a situation where a student learning online needs to send a file to a classmate with whom they are working on a project. The two students are working on the project with different software, and the student who receives the file cannot open it.

These difficulties can cause significant delays and prevent learners from accessing critical information.

Bonus Tips for Hybrid Classrooms Teaching Strategies

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Here are some bonus hybrid teaching ideas just for you to make sure your new hybrid course runs smoothly:

  • Don’t be afraid to change things up. The course map you established isn’t carved in stone; as the semester progresses, lean into your strengths while redesigning to account for any emerging deficiencies.
  • Use online work to provide individual students with personalized learning plans, extensions, or one-on-one instruction.
  • For the online section of your course, provide mobile and software learning choices.
  • Be receptive to criticism and truly learn from your students’ experiences.
  • Don’t emphasize online tasks; just because they may be completed from anywhere doesn’t guarantee they’ll take less time than traditional work.
  • Integrate online and in-person activities. The relationship between the two halves of a successful hybrid course is just as meaningful as the relationship between the two halves.
  • Accept your hybrid community with open arms. Talk to other hybrid class instructors you respect if you’re stuck or upset. Their knowledge and experience are invaluable.
  • Clearly and frequently explain the objectives and expectations of your hybrid class. If this format is unfamiliar to you, it’s likely unfamiliar to your students.
  • Give students self-and time-management advice, so they aren’t floundering after leaving the classroom. This advice is especially beneficial for students who have never taken an online course before.
  • Connect your students to a dedicated IT helpline in the event of a technical problem.

FAQs

What is the Difference between Online Learning and Hybrid Learning?

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An online class is taught exclusively through the internet. You are not obliged to visit in-person learning or labs during the course. But hybrid learning combines aspects of both virtual and face-to-face instruction.

When is the Right Time to Use Asynchronous Learning Tools in Hybrid Learning?

Asynchronous communication refers to any communication that does not occur in real-time. Students and teacher engagement is still crucial in asynchronous learning.

On the other hand, asynchronous learning is described as learning sessions where teachers upload the learning materials online for students to go and access at their own time.

Asynchronous learning technologies include self-paced modules, pre-recorded lectures, online forums, discussion boards, and other self-guided materials.

Here is the right time to use this strategy:

  • When a class of students thrives when given the freedom to work at their speed.
  • Students are more likely to succeed if a flexible schedule allows them to work on educational materials independently, with clear deadlines to direct their work.
  • Learners who need extra time to ponder and the freedom to return to materials as much as they want to engage with class subjects fully.
  • Suppose you need to balance your hybrid class and develop ways to keep students engaged while balancing real-time activities.

Why Should I Use Online Textbooks in Hybrid Classes?

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When teaching hybrid classes, the number of tangible and virtual resources is up to the instructor’s choice. Both sorts of resources have advantages, and the choice will be primarily determined by the students’ strengths and level of technological knowledge.

One of the tools in a student’s online textbook. Online textbook markets are a valuable tool for students who want to buy or rent electronic files of educational materials, saving them money.

  • Textbooks in digital format are typically less costly than their hardcover counterparts.
  • Many online textbook marketplaces also include tutorials.
  • Digital textbooks are more time-efficient. You’ll get your book at the click of a button.
  • Most digital textbooks are interactive and include internal text search, annotating tools, and voice translations.

When Should I Use Synchronous Learning?

Any training session in real-time, with instantaneous relationships between students and teachers, is known as synchronous learning.

Video conferencing systems, live webinars, online classes, and instant messaging are all forms of synchronous learning tools. This learning type is suitable when:

  • You want your remote student to have the same experience as in-person students.
  • You wish to encourage students to engage in real-time discussions and collaborations, such as brainstorming sessions or workshops.
  • When giving an assignment that needs instant feedback.
  • The learning involves challenging tasks that necessitate a high level of instructor participation.

Final Thoughts

Hybrid learning is revolutionizing our education system. Nowadays you can attend classes from any part of the world.

Many education institutions are rapidly adopting hybrid learning, which requires every stakeholder to familiarize themselves with the education model.

In the guide above, we’ve painted a picture of how hybrid learning works and how to prepare yourself if you’re a teacher or student. There is an in-depth approach to handling this model as a teacher because you’ll need to master the art of engaging both in-person attendees and online students.

It might sound like rocket science, but it will be as easy as ABC when following the above pointers.

On the other hand, students can prepare themselves by availing the most appropriate learning material for the course. That would also dictate if the student is attending in person or online. Moreso, I’ve broken down the pros and cons of using hybrid learning.

If you’re an instructor or student and you haven’t tried this system, I’d like to advise you to do so. Don’t be left out.