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Hybrid Learning Definition
As a form of Blended Learning, Hybrid Learning leverages both face-to-face and online modes of learning. For our purposes, Hybrid Learning is most similar to what would be referred to as an “Enriched Virtual” blended approach where most of the content consumption is happening online, and students typically have a fixed schedule for required face-to-face learning sessions and potentially flexible access for face-to-face support. The key element of making Hybrid most similar to Enriched Virtual over other blended models is that of the limited required face-to-face contact times. What makes Hybrid distinct from Enriched Virtual, is that it offers the opportunity for remote access to scheduled face-to-face learning sessions. In essence, Hybrid Learning allows individual students flexible remote access, as needed or as preference dictates, to synchronously participate in scheduled learning sessions occurring at the brick and mortar location.
Another potential distinction between Hybrid and other blended learning models is around the scale. Typically, blended models that have more time rooted in brick and mortar settings, (rotations, flipped, flex) can be understood around individual classroom approaches, and largely these models can be successful without broader organizational support. Hybrid Learning tends toward needing larger systematic and operational supports (scheduling, transportation, specialized infrastructure) driven by the organization to support instruction.
Finally, a rationale that is key to understanding the utility to Hybrid Learning is that it is responsive to both in-person and remote learning but provides for a greater level of continuity of learning during times where fully in-person learning is not feasible. Hybrid models are designed to support access to in-person learning to the greatest extent possible, but it also proactively prepares for the necessity of remote learning during public health emergencies such as the one we found ourselves in with the 2020 pandemic.