Wednesday 6 February 2008

Hybrid Learning

Current use of Hybrid Learning is a term used by some US academics with an intended identical meaning to blended learning. There are a couple of alternatives emerging from the UK – here's mine:

An Alternative Definition

Hybrid Learning is delivered using a combination of approaches to teaching and learning, ranging from short synchronous face to face sessions to asynchronous online sessions lasting many weeks.

Contents (for the wikipedia entry)


I stumbled upon this method when teaching in a UK high school in 2006 - much of the content of the course was delivered on-line – during usual lesson time. I noted the benefit of face-to-face delivery of some, and on-line social constructivist delivery of the majority of the course.

Naming Rational

Blended learning is characterised by a variety of delivery mechanisms, but the term ‘blended’ implies a lack of lucidity in the selection of the mechanism – like mixing different colored play dough together, you might end up with a bit of a mess.

Hybrid learning is characterized by the selection of an appropriate delivery mechanism for different learning components based on sound pedagogical practice. Hybrid has been chosen as it implies a conscious choice of the ‘stronger’ method, therefore giving a stronger ‘Hybrid’.

Thus Hybrid Learning is a subset of Blended Learning – moreover, an improved Blended Learning. It follows that many courses using Blended Learning may more accurately be described as using Hybrid Learning.


The rational behind Hybrid Learning is to select the best tool for the job. Some tasks are best delivered using face to face [ref] or 1-1 sessions [ref]. A major factor of the success of the Hybrid method is the ability of the tutor to select the best method of delivery.


Tutor selection of the delivery mechanism makes the Hybrid method more applicable to captive students such as those in secondary education, undergraduates, and commercial training.


(more referenced required)

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