Education in the country is undergoing important transformations. Increasingly, the traditional model of education is being left in the rearview mirror, and new ways of boosting learning are emerging.

With the advancement of new technologies and broad access to them, educators are increasingly focused on creating new methods and pedagogical practices aimed at improving institutions and, consequently, the education of the country as a whole.

One of these innovations in the educational environment is called hybrid education, a modality that combines the benefits of face-to-face education with distance education.

Today, hybrid education is considered one of the major bets for the future of education. By uniting face-to-face and remote education, it is possible to use the maximum potential of each of these modalities and make the student learn much more. Check out what hybrid teaching is, some benefits of this methodology and examples of application in this article.

And if hybrid teaching unites face-to-face teaching practices with DL, how about learning a little more about distance learning trends for the near future? You can watch this webinar and learn more about it!

What is hybrid teaching?

A key point for educators today is to understand that each person’s learning process is different. This does not mean, of course, that one is better than the other, but only that people learn in different ways, at different speeds and at different levels.

Considering these particularities of each individual, it is clear that the way of teaching cannot be the same for all students, right? That’s where new pedagogical methodologies like hybrid teaching come in.

The term hybrid refers to something that comes from a mixture of two or more distinct elements. In the case of hybrid teaching, these two elements would be face-to-face teaching and distance learning.

Basically, hybrid teaching is a teaching methodology that believes that technology and online classes can be used as tools to support teaching, in order to enhance the learning of each student, but always using distance learning as a complement to face-to-face teaching.

How and where did hybrid teaching come about?

Interestingly, however little is said, hybrid teaching is not a new idea. The idea of this methodology emerged in the United States, with the term blended learning and can be dated back to the 1960s.

In that decade, the use of technology in the classroom really began, replacing, in parts, the protagonism of the teacher or instructor. However, until the mid-1990s, computers and other technological devices were very expensive, so the model became somewhat unsustainable.

With the advancement of the creation and access to such technologies, such as the invention of CD ROM and the dissemination of the fast internet, the use of them in the classroom can be intensified more and more.

Here in Brazil, hybrid education has always been more used in higher education, an educational level in which DL is already more consolidated, but, little by little, some basic education schools have also been studying the application of this educational modality.

What are the advantages of hybrid teaching?

Unfortunately, until today, education in Brazil has very rooted the culture of the traditional classroom, in which the teacher is placed in front of the physical room and all teaching and learning takes place in that space. However, as has already been said, people do not learn in the same way, right?

The traditional model of education places the focus and protagonism on the teacher, and one of the main premises of distance education and hybrid teaching is that the student must be the protagonist of the learning process itself. In distance learning, students can perform the tasks in their own time, at their own pace and in the way they believe to be most efficient.

It is at this moment that technology is a great ally, after all, the student can use computers, smartphones or tablets for research, to watch video classes and even for educational games. The student’s autonomy is highly valued and stimulated.

However, even with all these advantages, distance learning also has its own obstacles. For example, as there is no face-to-face interaction with a teacher or instructor, students may find it difficult to ask questions or perform some exercises.

There is also no interaction with colleagues, an extremely important factor not only for learning, but also for the personal growth of students.

That’s why hybrid teaching relies on the mix between online and offline teaching, i.e. face-to-face and distance learning. Thus, it is possible to use the best parts of each of these models aimed at a single objective: to enhance student learning and improve the quality of education.

Hybrid teaching models

The term hybrid teaching is a broad term. Within it there are some different models: rotation by stations, rotational laboratory and inverted classroom.

Some of these models still preserve several characteristics of traditional education and are called sustained models, other models will totally break with normative education and are called disruptive models. Look at just a few characteristics of each of these models:

Station rotation

In the station rotation model, the school space is divided into workstations and each of them has a specific objective, even though they are directed to the central objective of the class. The idea is that students circulate between different stations, learning parts of the lesson in each of them.

As we are talking about hybrid teaching, these stations, in general, are assembled with technological tools typical of distance learning, such as demonstration videos or short video lessons.

At these stations, students have the autonomy to circulate and learn in their own time. It is important to emphasize, however, that these stations need to be independent of each other, that is, complementary but not in a way that the student needs to pass through one station to have an understanding of the other.

Individual rotation

There is also a variation called individual rotation, in which the rotation script between stations is designed for each student, thinking about their difficulties and needs.

Rotational laboratory

The rotational laboratory proposes that students alternate between two spaces, one of which is a laboratory with computer equipment.

In the laboratory the students use the technological tools to complement what will be taught in another space, which can be a traditional classroom, a science laboratory or even an outdoor space (sports court, for example).

In the same way that rotation by stations works, the lessons should be designed in such a way that there is a specific time for the students to be in each environment and that the lessons passed in each environment are complementary.