Online vs hybrid learning: which one is more applicable to your training?
Since the pandemic has still not slowed down in 2021 as expected, schools and all types of educational institutions continue to make new plans for the new year. Most institutes have been trying both online and hybrid learning models to provide the best learning experience for the students.
During this process, most educators are looking for solutions and they have high expectations from online platforms. Still the same, the question always arises: Online vs hybrid learning, which one should be preferred?
What is hybrid learning?
The hybrid learning concept is relatively a new term in our lives. It is basically introduced after the Covid-19 pandemic has made online learning an inevitable necessity. In most countries, the schools had to be closed and if the country’s infrastructure allowed, education kept going online for a while.
However, especially for younger learners, online education was thought to be inadequate and many countries subsequently started introducing new hybrid models.
Hybrid learning is a combined version of conventional classroom experience with online lessons and experimental teaching and learning objectives. It is often asked online vs hybrid learning, which modal gives better results in education.
Even though the rise in technology has changed and improved the quality of education all around the world, some conventional concepts in the learning environment still stay the same. That is also one of the reasons why only online education was not enough so that hybrid learning concept needed to be created.
Advantages of Hybrid Learning
Both for the student and the teacher, there are many advantages of hybrid learning from higher motivation in learners to having fewer burnout teachers.
You may think that there are more advantages for the teachers. However, it has been realized that hybrid learning is mostly beneficial for learners.
To give some examples of such advantages, we will list them separately below.
Advantages for Teachers
Some advantages of hybrid learning for teachers that have been observed so far are, teachers
- feel more motivated to teach since they keep their human contact with the learners.
- can physically check the assignments and make sure students take them seriously.
- can plan their lessons better thanks to the hybrid modal, avoiding dull lessons.
- can assign learners to do pair or group work and observe if they are really doing it.
Advantages for Students
Students also benefit a lot from such a learning modal. Some advantages of hybrid learning for students can be listed as:
- Learners are better motivated and focused on the learning process.
- They have fewer technical distractions, allowing them to concentrate more.
- They can have both physical contacts and also communicate online.
- Competition arises and students feel more motivated to actually understand the subject being taught.
Even though for many institutions, especially higher education institutions, online learning is not a new concept. Even for the primary levels, for the last 10 years, the teachers have been assigning students with online homework.
Even though there are no restrictions on traditional classroom teaching, the new-age education system has already adapted to online learning.
With the pandemic, online education has gained enormous fame since the schools had no other option but to continue the education process online. The pandemic was definitely a big turning point for the future of online education.
The attention towards online education has multiplied and a big need for online learning platforms has arisen. The platforms offering online video conferences or online classroom features have gained popularity. Improvements have still been going on from this moment on. We may be introduced to completely different and advanced levels of online learning in near future.
Advantages of Online Learning
As many have noticed especially in recent years, online learning is quite advantageous both for the learners and the teachers. Online learning removes all limitations related to location, distance, time differences, and other inequalities.
No matter where you are, you are entitled to be in an online classroom as long as you have a stable internet connection.
People have the extra time that they used to spend commuting to school. Plus, the comfort of being able to attend a lesson where you feel the safest and most comfortable helps the learning process. This is the case for both the students and teachers.
Online education has shaped the concept of education and it seems to be a great positive evolution in the history of formal schooling.
Advantages for Teachers
The advantages of online learning are plenty. Teachers were never so happy and it was never easy to make students focused on the material. Thanks to online learning, they can have their attention to their computer screens only with a click.
Some major advantages of online learning for teachers could be listed as:
- They don’t have to commute to school (more time for themselves)
- They can have their quiet time in-between lessons (at school it nearly never happens)
- It is easier for them to control their students without peer distractions
- They can engage unwilling students easier using technology
- They can use student-focused teaching that is less tiring for teachers and more beneficial for students.
With online learners, many teachers feel that teaching is not as hard as they used to think since students are joining online classrooms with their mindset for the lesson.
Advantages for Students
As well as offering teachers great advantages, online learning has a lot of benefits for students. Especially for students, the pandemic process has been a historical turning point. Students have realized that they are not so much dependent on the teachers to learn.
Some other advantages for students are:
- They could learn how to manage their time better.
- They could improve their virtual communication and technological literacy.
- Students could experience self-motivation.
- It enabled students to be more flexible and they could learn at their own pace.
- They could have better time management skills.
Online learning has definitely broadened students’ horizons.
Online vs Hybrid Learning
The question is a hot one: online vs hybrid learning, which one is a better approach in education?
There is not a single answer to this question. It is not as simple as to say whether ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. There are plenty of factors affecting whether online vs hybrid learning is the best.
There is one important issue though, which is to invest in the right technology to assist them during both online and face-to-face learning processes.
Regarding homework, a reliable technological tool could be used so that teachers can track each student’s progress. If blended, namely hybrid method is being tested, an alternative could be printable homework. So, students could carry the hard copies with them when they are present in their classroom.
If hybrid learning is taking place, teachers can engage students in their online and offline classrooms. However, even in this case, teachers will need to have a fully functioning online platform to keep track of their lessons.
Vedubox is an online distance education system supporting Zoom and Microsoft Teams. No matter online vs hybrid learning, teachers are better to be equipped with the best online features that will allow them to perform better teaching. Vedubox is a brilliant online platform that can support teachers in both learning approaches.
How can online platforms help you?
Online platforms have a lot to offer for both teachers and students. Especially teachers can have invaluable features to achieve better teaching and learning experience.
Thanks to an online platform, teachers can create interactive activities such as:
- Breakout rooms
- Online polls
- Team-based activities
All those above help teachers use peer-teaching and it takes the focus from the teacher to place it on the learners themselves.
Online platforms are getting better to let student-centred learning happen. No matter if the learning happens in an online or an offline classroom, teachers can change the role from being the centre of the lesson to stepping back. And they can observe what students can achieve either alone or with the help of their peers.
Online platforms also allow teachers to present their material as well as allow the learners to contribute to it. To give the most authentic learning experience, students are able to annotate either on the material being presented or the whiteboard as long as the teacher allows them to do.
Platforms for online and hybrid learning are doing their best to make everyone live an authentic classroom atmosphere.
All in all, we have tried to elaborate on the topic of online vs hybrid learning. The concept of education is rapidly changing and the expectations from online platforms are getting higher and higher. Thanks to technology and maybe the recent situation with the pandemic, online platforms are updating and renewing themselves at a speed that no one could have imagined.
Learn more about hybrid education: Hybrid Education Model: What is it, What are its Benefits?