Blended and hybrid learning- what’s the difference?

Are you familiar with the different methods of delivery and when you should use them?

The type of delivery is the format of how the learning is delivered to the learner or participant. Apart from online learning and the traditional classroom, what has become more commonplace in the delivery of learning is hybrid and blended.

Blended Learning

This approach offers a combination of learning through the virtual world such as various learning management systems (LMS) as well as face-to-face. There are various models for blended learning with each one having its own merits. One method is to have the learner rotate between face-to-face and online learning. This can utilise the face-to-face time for discussion or group work for example and utilising the online method for reading or analysing new material. Some methods of blended learning offer little interaction with instructors or facilitators and the learner has greater autonomy and flexibility.

Hybrid Learning

The term hybrid has become more prevalent in recent times. In the context of learning, the hybrid method gives learners a choice to attend class in a physical classroom setting with the instructor/facilitator or attend the class remotely by means of a virtual platform (e.g. Zoom) from another location such as home. By using video conferencing tools, instructors can deliver content to both learners in the classroom as well as to learners at home at the same time.

Whatever method you choose it is important to decide how the content will be delivered ahead of time. Consider the technology available to you. Do you have people to support the program chosen? Inform your learners. Give them a clear road map of how the learning will be delivered and managed. The last thing you want is to lose learners due to technical issues or lack of understanding of how the program works. Always keep the end-user in mind in your decision-making.

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