What is the difference between blended and hybrid learning?
Are you familiar with the modes of delivery for digital learning and when to use each one?
The modes of delivery refer to the format in which learning is delivered to the student. Apart from purely online digital learning, the most common modes of delivery are blended and hybrid learning. Let’s explore each mode below.
Blended Learning is an approach that enables a combination of digital learning happening in a virtual space as well as face-to-face(F2F). Blended learning falls in between face-to-face and online learning and can be divided into the following:
Rotational Model (including Flipped)
In the rotational model, learners rotate between online and face-to-face in a predetermined way. It’s the best example is Flipped Classroom where learners read, analyse content before a face-to-face class and that face-to-face class with the instructor is used for group work for example. Class time is used to collaboratively work on concepts, debate or discuss issues but not to deliver content. Apart from Flipped classroom, there can be individual, lab or classroom rotation that will also allow learners to experience online and F2F.
The flex model learning is based on computer equipped classroom teaching, so there is no remote learning happening at all. Learners come physically to a space where they can access computers or bring their own devices and the instructor is there to support them in their learning, guide them only on a one-on-one basis. This model supports a fully personalized approach.
Self-Blend Model /a la carte
In the self-blend or a la carte model, the learners take control of their learning. The learning happens online and there is very little support from instructors, learners decide when and what to study. This model might work with secondary or higher education best when learners specialise in a specific field.
This model might seem similar to the rotational or flipped mode as learners access the content and learn in a virtual environment, however, they seldom meet face-to-face with their instructors – it is more flexible and allows for autonomous learning.
When we talk about hybrid learning we refer to when learners have a choice to attend a live face-to-face class with an instructor or attend it virtually/ remotely from their home.
Instructors teach both remote and in-person learners at the same time using tools like video conferencing hardware and software.
- Always decide on a mode of delivery ahead of the programmes going live;
- Consider your infrastructure for blended or flex models – you will need some technology as well as staff that would support your programme;
- After planning and designing, make sure your learners are fully informed of the model, you can imagine things that can go wrong…e.g. Learners being stuck in a flipped approach and would not be able to move on with learning as they got lost in the LMS and so on;
- Prepare a concise handbook for your learners that would include a specific roadmap for them;
- Even the most common approach i.e. flipped approach requires designing, factor time for the design and test it if possible.
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