Blended or hybrid?
As defined by Glossary of Education Reform, “hybrid” or “blended” learning is the practice of using both online and in person learning experiences when teaching students. Students attend face-to-face classes taught by a teacher in a traditional classroom setting, and, at the same time, complete online components of the course outside of the classroom independently.1S. Abbott, The Glossary of Education Reform. The Great schools partnership, USA.) http://edglossary.org/blended-learning/
The online elements of the hybrid (blended) model might involve the delivery of curricular materials, access to resources, submission of assignments, collaborative projects and online discussions that may be asynchronous or synchronous in nature.2Hybrid Learning Defined, http://webshare.northseattle.edu/elearning/blended_learning/Hybrid_Learning_Study.pdf
Although the two terms are very often used interchangebly, some sources indicate a subtle difference. For MicroTek it is the synchronous vs. asynchronous nature of classes that distingushes the two models. While studying remotely, in a blended model learners can study asynchronously. On the other hand, the hybrid environment incorporates learners into a virtual synchronous class.3What is Hybrid Learning? How do Hybrid and Blended Learning Differ?, https://blog.mclabs.com/t-tof-what-is-hybrid-learning
For some, like Ger Drisen, hybrid learning is about “finding the right mix” of online and face-to-face elelements.4https://www.anewspring.com/blended-and-hybrid-learning/. Others indicate the brick-and-mortar aspect of this model as reduced to maximum and replaced with online interaction.5https://www.panopto.com/blog/blended-learning-hybrid-learning-flipped-classroom-whats-difference/
While the hybrid vs. blended debate continues, we must agree that in both:
- online content (activities, resources, interaction etc.) complement face-to-face work
- the “seat” time is reduced and might be replaced by flipped classroom, station rotation, lab rotation or self-blend (read more about 12 models of blended learning here).
- collaboration is promoted
- critical thinking is encouraged
- teacher “orchestrates” learning (frames, directs and monitors)
- learning is managed better through use of technology
- learning is authentic and purpuseful
So, whatever the nomencalature is, hybrid or blended, maybe it is the future of education.