If you’ve been looking into going back to school — either to earn your diploma, complete your degree, or get hands-on training — you may have come across some of these terms in your searches: Hybrid learning. Blended courses. Hybrid program. If you’re not quite sure what these terms mean, for you or for the program or career path you’re considering, we’ve got answers to some of the big questions below.
What is hybrid learning?
Hybrid learning is a tactic that takes aspects of online learning and in-person classes and combines them, sometimes in just one course and sometimes within a whole program. The idea is to unite the best of both worlds — the flexibility and accessibility of online coursework with the personalized, hands-on training of in-person classes — to make a course or program that’s stronger and geared to the particular needs of its students. The particulars of how each hybrid learning program looks depends on the school, so it’s important to ask upfront what you can expect before you enroll. At Vista, for example, we use the online component of our hybrid learning programs to tackle theory and foundational concepts and then bring students on-campus to do hands-on work in our well-equipped labs, overseen by experienced, professional instructors.
How is it different from blended learning?
That kind of depends on who is using it. The truth is, hybrid and blended learning are often used interchangeably, referring to courses and programs that combine online and on-campus education. That being said, some people do distinguish between the two and use blended learning to refer to a delivery method where online components complement in-person lessons but don’t replace them. Hybrid learning, then, would mean programs where the online lessons are completely separate from the in-person classwork. If it’s not clear what kind of hybrid or blended learning program a school is offering, the best thing to do is inquire for the specifics before enrolling so you know just what you’re signing up for.
What kinds of hybrid degree programs are out there?
These days, there are hybrid diploma and degree programs in a wide variety of fields and industries. The advancements in online learning technologies have meant that it’s more possible to take some of the things that used to happen in the classroom and move them into the comfortability of your own home. This means that you can train for everything from business to healthcare, information technology to legal to even some trades using a hybrid learning model. Vista College, for example, has just launched our first foray into healthcare blended learning with our Medical Assisting (Distance Learning) program.
Why should I choose a hybrid learning program?
These days, we know that education is not one-size-fits-all, and the great thing about hybrid learning models is that they offer you an option beyond the simple “on-campus vs. online” debate. If you are someone who would love to have some flexibility in your diploma or degree program but would also benefit from some hands-on training and instruction, a hybrid learning program might just be the model that fits you the best.
If you’re interested in exploring more about blended or hybrid learning programs or talking to admissions representative about our Medical Assisting(DE) program, contact Vista College today.