What is the Difference Between Hybrid and Online Learning?

When people say that they attend online classes or hybrid classes instead of learning in the traditional classroom setting we usually just chalk it off to them not being “smart enough”. In reality that is not the case at all, they just might be the smartest people we know, they conserve both their time and energy gathering experience while studying simultaneously.

Only with the onset of Covid-19, have we finally understood how beneficial online classes and hybrid classes are in this day and age. They are affordable, flexible and accessible than classroom learning. Yet, there is much difference between an online and hybrid course and what it offers a student.

Even before the pandemic hybrid learning and online learning have gained popularity. It is way more affordable, flexible and accessible than classroom learning. Yet, there is much difference between an online and hybrid course and what it offers a student.

Online Learning vs Hybrid Learning?

Online classes and hybrid classes are new and improved ways of learning. It helps you stay in touch with your classes whenever you want, wherever you want. You do not have to worry about attending classes after a hard day or when you are away. One can set the pace with online Learning and hybrid Learning.

Hybrid learning focuses on only 25-50% of class-based education and the remaining on online sessions. On the other hand, online learning focuses 100% on prerecorded or live online classes. Despite in-class learning being the standard till not too long ago, blended and online education have taken up their post.

Online learning and hybrid learning both provide quality education. During online classes, experts from different fields can talk to you. These instructors have years of experience in their courses. You can find some of the best courses including, higher degrees like MA and MBA online. With online and hybrid courses you learn self-discipline and self-motivation, this means that you have to choose to attend the course with your own interest. Online courses have limited to no interaction within the class most of the time. Online courses and hybrid courses are self-motivators that you can choose if you want to attend the course or not. Online courses are more so as they have zero in-person interactions.

Differences between Online Learning vs Hybrid Learning

Despite being so similar to each other, Online Learning and Hybrid Learning have many differences. These include;

Networking Opportunities
Education has changed faces over the years, becoming a who knows whom world. A degree is not just about learning but also about forging connections. Connections that you can make use of in the future for your careers. One needs to forge bonds with their instructors and peers.

There are fewer opportunities for this during a purely online class as we solely focus on the learning aspect of the degree and do not interact with our peers. But through online discussions, one can form connections with their peers online. In a hybrid class, one can gather more networking opportunities. In hybrid learning, one focuses on fulfilling the social aspects of education along with its learning aspects.

Restriction of Movement
The main intention of starting hybrid and online courses is to break the restrictions confining us to a single place. A common reason people refuse to get higher education is that they are unable to take time off from their jobs or feel that they might not be able to handle the requirements of the course.

Online classes are flexible and unrestricted than hybrid courses, they have no geographical boundaries or time restrictions. A student can complete their assignments and classes at their pace. Though blended learning has fewer restrictions than the traditional classroom, it is still restricted compared to online classes. With the requirement of attending 25% of the class offline, there is a slight geographical issue that arises.

Discussions Between Peers
Discussion of topics between peers is essential in any learning environment. It provides the student to express themselves and their doubts better. There are various methods to start discussions in both online and hybrid courses.

When a student is learning from a purely online course, they have two ways of conducting peer discussions online. Online forums are in use by pre-made online courses for discussion between peers. Live online classes have conversations directly or through the chatbox. In Hybrid learning, offline and online discussions both are present.

Experts Accessible
It is hard to find expert talks for traditional classes because of the restrictions on time and travel. Online and hybrid learning help increase the chances of expert lecturers. Most online and hybrid courses are taught by people with good experience in the field from around the world, as no geographic restrictions are stopping them.

With students learning from experts in the field there is more accountability of their courses. Hybrid learning has a lesser opportunity of these than online course students. The expert talks also depend on the selection of your course. A student needs to research their course thoroughly before they start it.

When a student compares traditional classrooms with online and hybrid courses, there is a very noticeable cost difference between the two. It leads us to believe that online and hybrid courses are affordable when compared to in-person classes.Consequently, many students are turning to these alternative learning formats to minimize the burden of student loans.

Still, there is a difference in cost even between online and hybrid learning. One finds many pre-made free enrolment courses and also online classes that cost almost next to nothing. Hybrid or blended courses are comparatively costlier as they conduct 25% to 50% face-to-face classes.

Range of Online Courses
What is the most significant aspect of the mode in which a student learns? It is the range of courses that are provided by the mode of education. Each student has different requirements for their education. It is essential to have a wide variety of classes for the students to partake in when choosing a mode of study.
Online learning offers a wide range of courses and certifications, more than any other mode of education. Hybrid or blended learning is not as common as online courses and has fewer classes than online.

Engaging the Class
What would you prefer, chalk and blackboard or a fun and engaging class with videos and presentations? A student’s learning ability is based on their ability to concentrate and understand a topic. So when the class becomes more engaging, a student is likely to concentrate more on it.

Through online classes, learning is made simple yet engaging. The course makers let students participate in several online activities to help them understand concepts better. Hybrid courses do not integrate as many aspects of online activities and try to concentrate on in-person activities and pure learning online.

Can Give Feedback More Frequently
Feedback on a course is an essential step in improving it. In an offline class, one finds feedback to the teachers only at the end of the year or so, but in an online class, this is not the case.

In a hybrid or a traditional class, one finds that the feedback forms are only available after half the semester or the end of the year which does not make a big difference to your learning. Whereas in an online class you will find a feedback form after every session and can note the improvements in the quality of education as the course goes on.

Control Over Your Schedule
As mentioned above there are many issues one might face while trying to pursue your education. It is especially true for people who have to look after their dependents and do not have a lot of time for themselves.

Hybrid courses are easy to change from online to offline if you have an emergency, but there are still limits to which you can change your schedule in hybrid learning. In online learning, you can change your class schedules according to what you feel is best for the time being and even postpone classes during an emergency.

Better for a Change in Career
If you feel like it is time that you change your path in life and start a new career then there is no better place to learn it than through hybrid or online learning. Hybrid learning offers you the opportunity for networking and face-to-face interactions with lecturers and instructors. It also provides you with enough time online so that you do not have to quit your job till after getting your degree. Online courses are more flexible than hybrid learning and you can even finish a few lessons during your breaks right at your workplace. You are also able to change your assignment schedule to work on it when you feel ready.

Both hybrid and online learning have gained popularity, especially in North America with around 55% of the courses changing from traditional classes to either online or hybrid classes. Online and hybrid classes are the future of education and with the pandemic, the growth of these mediums has been faster than previously predicted. They are highly accessible, non-restricting and engaging than traditional classes.

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