With the introduction of technology into the classroom over the last few decades education has changed dramatically – and never as dramatically as seen over the last year due to the pandemic. For centuries education was fairly rigid; we attended school each day, were given topics to learn by rote and then tested on our skills of retaining that information via exams. All that changed when computers entered classrooms and new ways of learning were explored, such as e-learning online.
Over the last year you have likely heard many terms banded around, especially ‘hybrid’ and ‘blended’ learning – oftentimes they’re used as one and the same, which is definitely not the case. But what are these new ways of learning, how do they differ from one another, how can they impact your teaching, and more importantly your students’ education?
As the name suggests, hybrid learning is a combination of more traditional face-to-face education coupled with offline and distance learning techniques. The combination finds the balance of face-to-face and online techniques to ensure the content meets student needs and maximises learning. For example, a five class a week course would meet once face-to-face and the remaining four classes a mix of distance learning such as e-learning online, online assignments or a Zoom lecture.
Blended learning is the mix of both online and offline – using online instruction as a way to supplement or support traditional face-to-face learning, but not replace it. For example, a five class a week course would meet five times face-to-face but the educator would supplement the learning with online assignments.
As we previously mentioned the terms ‘hybrid’ and ‘blended’ are oftentimes used as one and the same, mainly because the subtleties between them are fine. While blended learning focuses on the combination of offline and online instruction with a lean toward face-to-face, hybrid learning seeks to find a balance that ensures the best experience for students needs via any possible learning technique.
Due to the similarities of both learning styles and the offering of online interaction the benefits are also similar. The main benefits of blended and hybrid learning are:
The benefits don’t just extend to students, there are many benefits for teachers too:
The differences between hybrid and blended learning can be fairly subtle however, the outcome and overall lean towards technology are very different. All in all, no matter where or how students are learning, it shouldn’t hinder their needs or what they can achieve.
With schools preparing to return to classrooms from 8th March, you may be wondering how your students can benefit from a hybrid or blended learning approach. Jotter Learn could be just the solution you need. Read more about the platform here, or contact us if you’d like to arrange a demonstration with a member of our team.