Today, teachers are facing increasing demands, including engaging with students both in person and virtually, while also keeping up with advances in pedagogy and technology. A hybrid learning strategy can help meet these demands.
So, what exactly is hybrid learning? And how can it help teachers meet these challenges while also benefiting students?
What Is Hybrid Learning?
Hybrid learning is a combination of face-to-face and virtual learning methods.
Some hybrid learning models involve students receiving all their instruction online, with only occasional face-to-face classroom interaction for exams or other assessments. Others may combine in-person and online activities, such as collaborative project work or research.
The key characteristic of hybrid learning is a mix of face-to-face and online instruction, with each type of instruction complementing the other.
Why Is Hybrid Learning Effective?
Because online education allows students to work at their own pace, hybrid learning makes it easier for teachers to differentiate instruction. As a result, teachers can spend more time with small groups of students or provide one-on-one instruction.
Students in a hybrid learning environment can also control their learning because they can access the online content when it suits them and work at their own pace. The result is an engaging, motivating, and enjoyable learning experience.
What Are the Differences Among Hybrid vs. Flipped vs. Blended Learning?
Understanding the difference between hybrid, flipped, and blended learning is important. Although these terms are used interchangeably, they refer to different kinds of hybrid learning models.
Hybrid learning is a mix of face-to-face and online instruction, with each type of instruction complementing the other.
Flipped learning is a type of hybrid learning in which students receive content online outside of class and then use class time for activities such as problem-solving and discussion.
Blended learning is another type of hybrid learning that involves a mix of online and in-person instruction, but specifically focuses on using technology to enhance face-to-face instruction.
Benefits of Hybrid Learning
There are many benefits of hybrid learning for both teachers and students, which can lead to improved outcomes.
More Time to Focus on Learning
Students in a hybrid learning environment receive individualized attention and work at their own pace, leading to greater understanding and engagement with the material.
More Flexibility for Teachers
Teachers can plan lessons and assess student learning in a variety of ways, both online and offline, allowing them to cater to the needs of their students in a more personalized way.
Everyone Has More Direct Access to Information
With hybrid learning, both teachers and students have more direct access to information, which helps facilitate a deeper understanding of the material and provides more opportunities for collaboration.
Ability to Rewatch Lectures
If a student misses a class or lecture, they can easily watch it online at their convenience, which is not always possible in a traditional learning environment.
In an emergency, such as a natural disaster or pandemic, hybrid learning can help ensure that students can attend class from home without disruption.
Can Alleviate Teacher Shortage
The hybrid learning model can help ease the teacher shortage in some areas by allowing teachers to work from home and reach more students online.
Drawbacks of the Hybrid Experience
Hybrid learning has many benefits, but there are also some drawbacks to consider.
Students Need Time Management Skills
Since students in a hybrid learning environment have more freedom and flexibility, they need to be able to manage their time well to succeed. If they do not, they may fall behind in their studies or become overwhelmed.
Lack of Internet Access Can Impede Learning
For hybrid learning to be effective, students need to have reliable access to the internet. Without it, they cannot participate in the online portion of their studies, which can impede their learning.
Less Student Participation
Hybrid learning requires students to be active in their education, but some may become disengaged, resulting in discouragement and a lack of participation.
Hybrid Learning Tips for Teachers
When transitioning to hybrid learning, there are a few things that teachers can do to set themselves and their students up for success.
Teachers must communicate frequently and effectively by setting clear expectations for both online and offline work. They should also make themselves available to answer any questions students may have.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are various tools and resources available to teachers that can help make hybrid learning easier. Use online collaboration tools, such as Google Docs and Canvas, to help facilitate communication and provide students with feedback.
Not every student learns in the same way or at the same pace. Be flexible in your teaching methods and adjust your plans as needed.
Have an Asynchronous Plan
Options for asynchronous, or self-paced, learning should be available for students in case of internet outages or other technological problems to help ensure that all students can continue their studies without interruption.
Encourage Video Calls
Students can stay connected and engaged with their teachers and classmates via video calls to bridge the gap between online and offline learning.
Set Up Your Classroom for Connection
Setting up your classroom in a way that encourages connection among students can include using group workstations or providing laptops to the entire class.
Learn How to Use the Tools in Advance
Before classes begin, familiarize yourself with the tools and resources that you will use to lessen confusion or frustration during the school year.
Make Everything Visible and Structured
Help students stay organized by providing a schedule or timeline of what is due when. Posting this information in a visible place, such as in Canvas or Google Classroom, can help students stay on track.
Share Lesson Plans in Advance
Share learning activities and course materials with students in advance to help them become familiar with the content and reduce confusion.
Make Time for Remote Students
Online learning can be isolating for some students. Make time to connect with remote students and regularly check in on their well-being.
It’s OK to Slow Down
Students advance at different speeds, so it’s okay to slow down and provide extra support as needed.
Get to Know Your Students and Let Them Get to Know You
Your learning plan can be an opportunity to get to know students as individuals and let them get to know you as their teacher.
Try New Things! Have Fun!
Students engage best when having fun, so try out new strategies for teaching and learning in your hybrid courses.
Prep for Testing in a Hybrid Learning World With Progress Learning
In recent years, online classes have gained popularity, making hybrid instruction more prevalent. Successful hybrid learning incorporates online courses with in-person instruction for a well-rounded learning experience.
However, preparing for exams can be especially tricky in a hybrid learning environment. Using the right tools, strategies, and solutions can make all the difference.
One such solution is Progress Learning. Our online courses can help students prepare for exams by focusing on the areas where they need the most help and providing personalized instruction.
If you’re looking for a way to help your students prepare for exams in a hybrid learning world, Progress Learning is exactly what you need. To learn more, Schedule a Demo.