Hybrid Learning: What It Is and How To Set It Up!

Aavni Desai
July 18, 2024
7 min read

"What is hybrid learning?" is a question frequently asked about in today's educational landscape.

Hybrid learning refers to a model where teachers instruct students both in-person students and online simultaneously.

Educators provide supplementary online resources and activities to all participants. Students also learn from each other in a peer-to-peer system, where they participate in class discussions. Here, online resources include shared multimedia, research papers, and quizlets to enhance in-class dialogues.

Teaching and learning academies, as well as tutoring businesses, benefit immensely from hybrid learning due to its flexibility and inclusivity. Hybrid learning models enable institutions to reach a broader audience, accommodating students who may have scheduling conflicts or geographical constraints. This approach ensures that learning continues uninterrupted, regardless of external circumstances, such as adverse weather conditions or health-related issues. Moreover, hybrid learning fosters a collaborative learning environment where students can engage in discussions and group projects, regardless of their physical location, promoting a sense of community and shared learning objectives.

a typewriter with a sign that reads blended learning

How is Hybrid Learning different from Blended Learning?

While hybrid and blended learning models share similarities, they differ significantly in class structure.

  • Blended learning combines in-person (synchronous) teaching and asynchronous learning methods allowing students to participate in physical offline classes, and work on online study material at their own pace.
  • Hybrid learning includes online and offline classes simultaneously offering students the flexibility to participate in physical classes or join in virtually with online asynchronous study material provided, only to support class learning.

For educational institutions, understanding this distinction is crucial for implementing the right teaching strategy. Blended learning often suits students who prefer a self-paced approach, while hybrid learning caters to those who benefit from real-time interaction with instructors and peers. By integrating both models, academies can offer a versatile educational experience that meets diverse student needs.

a group of young people sitting next to each other

How can I set up a Hybrid Learning model?

Step 1: Set your goals

Map out what you want to achieve with your hybrid classes. Set long and short-term goals for yourself and the class. This includes what you want your students to learn at the end of the semester, and how you plan to achieve these educational objectives. Determine your financial aspirations at the same time, and the level of growth you wish to achieve within that time period.

Defining clear goals helps you stay focused and ensures that both you and your students are aligned on the expected outcomes. For instance, if you're aiming to improve student engagement and participation, identify specific strategies and tools that can facilitate this. Consider incorporating interactive elements like live polls, Q&A sessions, and collaborative projects to make the learning experience more engaging.

Additionally, consider the logistical aspects of managing both online and offline students. Develop a robust system for tracking attendance, participation, and performance. Utilize class management software to streamline administrative tasks, making it easier to monitor student progress and maintain records.

a woman sitting at a table working on a laptop

Step 2: Map the course out

This is a class navigation map. Since you’ve already determined what you want your students to learn and the knowledge you want your students to acquire by the end of your semester, you must now determine what exactly you want to teach them – the syllabus.

Design modules for all the topics the subject includes, and their subtopics. Gather content for each sub-topic. Ensure that all the information is compatible. Attach various online materials, assessment quizzes and tests, educational videos, audio and so on, as you design the syllabus. Make a flowchart, or a table with all the modules, topics and sub-topics mapped out. Provide a supplementary timeline to chalk out the outline of when you would teach each topic in a module. You are essentially putting down your course in a chronological flow here.

You can also compile this flowchart or table into a booklet and share it with your online and offline students. This makes everyone aware of the game plan, bringing everyone on the same page and providing much needed clarity.

a boyvsitting at a desk listening to a teacher on a computer

Step 3: Choose your teaching methods

Determine how to balance your direct teaching efforts with supplementary resources. In a hybrid learning environment, you will directly teach online as well as offline students, simultaneously. Supplement this direct teaching with online study material and assessment options to enhance the learning experience.

Some topics can be taught to your online and offline students directly by you while the supplementary activities will primarily occur online.

You can undertake the following class activities for your online and offline students together:

  • Teaching and explaining the modules
  • Presenting information to your students via speech, or through a whiteboard. To ensure your online students have an interactive and effective class, you can invest in a whiteboard camera. Logitech’s Scribe is an artificial intelligence based whiteboard camera that detects what you write or draw on your offline whiteboard, and transcribes it onto your online whiteboard, to be shared with your online students effectively.
  • Hosting guest or keynote speaker sessions
  • Facilitating presentations and group discussions
  • Conducting feedback sessions

Supplementary online class time for all your students is usually set aside for:

  • Dividing peer or individual responsibilities
  • Distributing educational information in terms of academic papers, audio-visual learning methods such as pre-recorded lectures
  • Logistical information, schedules and guides
  • Homework and tests
  • Online objective assessments and quizzes

Step 4: Test run! 

Now that you’ve set up the works - take it for a spin. Ensure your online set-up works perfectly, and iron out any chinks that you may detect. Have a few people step in as mock students so that you have pre-class feedback to refine and enhance your hybrid learning environment.

Why hybrid learning can be the future!

Hybrid learning combines the best of both worlds - online and offline teaching. Both systems are here to stay, and integrating them is essential for modern learning environments!

a group of people sitting around a wooden table

You make yourself accessible to more clients 

Students often face geographic and financial barriers when seeking educational opportunities. Many feel compelled to relocate, sometimes even internationally, to access quality education.

But thanks to hybrid learning, students can now learn the same modules online as well as offline. Since your course is now online and accessible to all, you are not limited to students within your locality, or students who can come to your physical classes anymore. You become a preferred source of learning. They then choose you to teach them, over traditional educational institutions. This is how you gain a broader client base.

Synchronized communication

The instant gratification and personal connection found in in-person academic discussions are rarely replaceable. Hybrid learning enables exactly this, for your online students as well. You now have a broader client base, and a happy one as well!

Hybrid learning brings learners together effectively and puts educators in touch with them as well. It helps students work on papers together, provide feedback and ensure all-round communication in every academic field while also establishing accountability. The online infrastructure that streamlines this makes logistics easier for teachers and education businesses.

a person sitting at a desk with a computer

An efficient use of resources

Effective management of time and resources is crucial for any educational business. Hybrid learning empowers students to self-manage their tasks with the technological infrastructure you provide, allowing seamless assignment submissions and progress tracking. Optimizing online resources ensures that both you and your students maximize your investments while maintaining an efficient learning environment.

Sounds too good to be true? Read about how hybrid learning has boosted some kids’ learning!

Ms. Montenique Woodard’s seventh-period class had been her toughest, particularly due to one disruptive student. However, during remote learning, she noticed he was thriving, free from daily distractions. Many teachers reported similar experiences, finding that students who typically struggled were flourishing in this new environment. The flexibility of remote learning allowed students to manage their time better, reduce academic pressure, and avoid social anxieties often present in physical classrooms. This shift prompted educators to rethink traditional school structures and consider which aspects of remote learning could be beneficial even after returning to in-person classes.

This trend is becoming increasingly common. Students who may have previously struggled in traditional settings—especially those who are shy or have active learning styles—are finding success in hybrid environments. Although access to digital resources can be uneven, and connectivity issues persist, hybrid learning effectively recreates the engagement and discourse essential for a dynamic classroom experience. As educators adapt to this new model, they are discovering innovative ways to support all students, ensuring that learning remains effective and inclusive.

a young girl sitting in front of a computer

What has been the biggest booster yet?

Fluid schedules have been the biggest factor that helped students out 

Students don’t have to trudge along to early classes or make it to late-night sessions after compulsory long periods of commute time. They find their own independence in their own space. The added comfort helps them enjoy their school work more. 

With hybrid learning, students can access their preferred courses without the burden of travel fatigue. This flexibility allows them to explore hobbies, maintain fitness routines, engage in creative pursuits, and dedicate time for personal reflection. Empowering students to manage their time has been shown to enhance motivation and academic performance. Furthermore, while extracurricular activities are essential for college applications, students can now balance these commitments more effectively from the comfort of their homes, integrating them into their daily schedules.

Makes courses accessible, and not overwhelming 

According to a Pew Research Center study, teens believe that academic pressure is the biggest pressure present in their life. 61% of them report feeling this pressing pressure to perform at a specific standard, academically. Teachers are pressured by this just as much since they are responsible for their students. As this pressure teachers face is projected onto their students, the students become the worst affected stakeholder. They subsequently face twice as much of a likelihood of facing unhealthy stress and pressure.

With the hybrid model of learning, course work is streamlined as students work at their own pace, yet within the timeline of their semester. They decide what they study and when, and corroborate their timeline with their teachers’ timelines. Hybrid learning provides them the option of attending lectures from the comfort of their homes while facing less financial pressure - all at their own pace.

A laptop and phone on a wooden desk

How Classcard Can Help

As a teaching and learning business, Classcard can help streamline the implementation of hybrid learning by providing an all-in-one platform for class management. With features for real-time attendance tracking, assignment management, and interactive communication, Classcard helps educators easily engage both online and offline students. The platform allows teachers to share resources, track student progress, and facilitate discussions, creating a cohesive learning environment.

Additionally,  Classcard integrates seamlessly with platforms like Zoom and Lessonspace, allowing for smooth transitions between online and offline learning environments. This integration ensures that students have consistent access to course materials and live sessions, enhancing the overall learning experience.

A laptop and a phone on a table

If there’s anything Covid-19 has taught us, it’s that teaching and learning can be done from anywhere in the world. With the right mechanisms and an inspiring teacher, hybrid learning is here to stay. The first-mover advantage is very real, and with how quick everything is in our fast-paced world, it is so crucial to move with it. Set up that hybrid class you’ve been thinking of for yourself or your business as soon as you can to make the most of it!

Teaching and Learning
Aavni Desai

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