Hybrid Learning – For the classroom and beyond

Posted on May 02, 2019

At the University of Pretoria, students have opportunities to learn on site and online as research shows that this hybrid approach increases student success. Our students have access to computer literacy training, free Wi-Fi and thousands of computers in laboratories to engage with online study resources.

Hybrid teaching and learning methods include traditional lectures in classrooms and practical contact sessions. Our students also learn when they work at community sites of learning because they are applying their skills and knowledge in a real-world situation to benefit others and to achieve desirable learning outcomes at the same time. Our students also investigate their disciplines and fields through independent or group study to understand important concepts. Students inquire and ask themselves and their lecturers critical questions to find answers and understand their work better. Face-to-face classes are enhanced by technology. All lecture halls are equipped with up-to-date technology, including Wi-Fi.

At its best, the online component of hybrid teaching and learning integrates and interacts with on-site learning activities. In 2018, 94.43% of undergraduate modules had active online components on the learning management system, clickUP. In addition, students can be taught and assessed online.

Videos, infographics, simulations and games play a prominent role in contemporary education. These resources are developed for on-site and online use and support the “flipped” classroom, which requires students to read, research, view videos and do online quizzes prior to class so that classroom time can be used more effectively.

The benefits of hybrid learning are that students learn to synthesise information through many online sources, each of which boosts what they have already learnt through the classroom and their independent or group study. One outcome is that this interaction produces graduates who are technologically savvy and prepared for the world beyond university.

Our students are lifelong learners because they learn to think independently, aided by lecturers and technology, and they apply their skills in a variety of different contexts. Hybrid learning, through many teaching and learning options, gives our students the freedom and flexibility to excel.

Our teaching and learning approach is based on the principles of learning science, inquiry-based learning and hybrid learning. This means that students can ask questions and do research in their discipline or field to learn and discover answers independently. Further, they are not only taught in a classroom or other formal contact environment (including community and workplace sites of learning) but they also find additional activities, notes, resources and videos online that integrate with their classes.

Embrace hybrid learning! It teaches you so many skills and enhances what you already know by reinforcing your knowledge in many different ways. Be “present” on clickUP every day as students who access the system daily, outperform those who do not access the learning management system frequently by as much as 17% on average.

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