The Pros and Cons of Hybrid Learning (French version available)
By Avreet Jagdev
Covid changed the world in more ways than we can count – from the way that we shop, to the way we work and go to school. When the pandemic first hit, educational institutions switched primarily to online learning. As cases began to slow down and people became more accustomed to a world with Covid in it, things slowly began to switch back to in-person.
Even now, three years after the outbreak, many schools and post-secondary institutions are hybrid instead of fully in-person. This means that learning is partly online, and partly in-person. Many students have gotten accustomed to learning in this way, but what are the pros and cons of the hybrid learning model?
One of the biggest pros of hybrid learning is the flexibility that it offers. Many courses are delivered asynchronously, meaning you can work on coursework whenever it works best for you. If you are a morning person, you can wake up early to get things done. If you are most productive after a meal, you can schedule your school time accordingly.
- Accommodates various learning styles
Hybrid learning gives students more of an opportunity to study using learning styles that work for them. For example, if you learn better by reading, you can turn on the captions or read the transcript of your lecture instead of simply watching it. Visual learners can take their time studying slides, and learners who are auditory have the freedom of rewinding, fast-forwarding, slowing down or speeding up their lectures.
- Work at your own pace
A large advantage of hybrid learning is that it allows students to work at their own pace. You don’t have to rush writing your notes because you can pause when needed. If you want to spend more time doing a reading or a class activity, you’re not restricted to the one- or two-hour block that your in-person class would be. If you want to spread work out over several days instead of getting it done in a single day, you’re free to do so!
- Access to larger community of students
A great thing about hybrid learning is that you can do it from your own home! This means that students who live further away from their schools can still access their education without having to travel too far, as often. This makes the hybrid model more inclusive and accessible to a variety of students.
- Reduced face-to-face interactions
One of the most obvious drawbacks of hybrid learning is that it lessens the frequency of face-to-face interactions with teachers and peers, which can be instrumental in a student’s learning.
- Requires strong organization and self-motivation
With the additional flexibility hybrid learning brings, it also brings the need for organization, self-motivation, and time management. It is easier to let things pile up when you don’t need to physically be somewhere in the morning, or when you have the opportunity of doing it at your own pace.
- Requires a good study space and technology
Lastly, hybrid learning requires access to reliable technology as well as a space you can study in. For students from lower income or larger families, this isn’t always possible. Some learners might have to share a device with a sibling, or study in an area with the rest of their family, which can be less than optimal.