Traditional face to face (F2F) classrooms typically revolve around the lecture format where an educator delivers information to a group of students and technology plays a variant role but social interactions are ever-present. Assessments are typically done in a test format.
Online classes remove the lecture format from play and rely on technology as a way to access the information presented. The depth of technology usage is not specified and can vary greatly. For a learner, the online format provides more flexibility for participants to learn anytime and anywhere. Assessments usually come in the form of projects (Bates & Watson, 2008, p. 41).
Hybrid classes blend face to face and online formats. Students and teachers perform some activities in the classroom and others online. For students and teachers, the best of both worlds can be combined to make an ideal learning environment.
Within these three formats are many techniques to help enhance learning. Most tools that are greatly effective can be adapted to all these learning environments. Techniques like Critical Thinking where participants are asked to connect, reflect and infer can be applied in all settings (Merlot, 2012). When teachers create lessons using Blooms, upper level thinking includes these items. In all classroom experiences, finding the opportunity for students to display knowledge beyond just a regurgitation of facts is essential. Again, this is effective in all settings, including Hybrid, where the best of both worlds combine.
Within the classroom, using a Clicker to assess learning in real-time is a great technique. Also, and I use this in my classroom to improve social interactions and acumen, Cooperative Learning is a great technique as a means of helping students talk at an academic register and process learning/information. I find it to be important because students process their knowledge, have to identify meaning and importance, and then relay that understanding in a meaningful way. These steps prove very effective in synthesizing knowledge for students.
With the online format, Experiential Learning is a great way for students to learn by doing (Merlot, 2012). This includes reflective activities, which are often used at end of course as a way to contemplate the entirety of what has been learned throughout a class as well as how new information can be used in the real world/current teaching setting.
As I create learning activities for other educators, I know that bringing in face to face interactions is essential because so much of what we do is collaborative. The other side of that is the Experiential Learning found in the online model. As an educator of educators, I have to think about how to use a Hybrid Model, which presents the best of both worlds, to improve my instructional setting, goals, and student experience. As technology grabs hold of classrooms and teachers, schools, and districts start changing their formats I wonder if the hybrid model in the brick and mortar buildings is the Flipped Classroom Model. Is this model, where students get the lectures at home and then do the homework at school in a more collaborative setting, the (near) future of education? And is it a more effective model than the standard F2F model?
Bates, Bates, C., & Watson, M. (2008). Re-learning teaching techniques to be effective in hybrid and online courses. Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 13(1), 38-44.
Merlot. (2012). Teaching strategies. Retrieved from http://pedagogy.merlot.org/TeachingStrategies.html