Hybrid learning usually invovles a combination of classroom and online instruction. A report by Ithaka S+R reveals the results of a recent study on hybrid learning in a university setting. Key findings were:
- Student learning outcomes were not better in the hybrid environment
- Students learned the material 25% faster in the hybrid environment than classroom students
- Productivity gains from fewer teachers and smaller facilities were a significant economic benefit
Finding 1 could be used to conclude that IT approaches to learning are not effective. However, as Clayton Christensen, the HBS Professor, makes clear in his book, "Disrupting Class", we should not expect better outcomes in learning when the technology is used in traditional ways. To get better learning outcomes the technology must be used in new ways that develop new skills.
Finding 2 reaffirms the concept of student centric learning. When students direct the pace (and scope) of their learning they enjoy it more. The trend for faster paced education is a huge issue that has been barely discussed in the education literature. I believe that the technology is going to cause a "compression" in education wherein more and more advnced courses are going to be taught to younger children. Quite possibly in this IT environment students could complete a college degree while still in high school.
I think everyone has realized the economic benefits of IT in learning, particularly in reducing textbook costs. I wonder what some of the large public universities will do with their extra facilities in 10-20 years.
The report was referenced in this article from brainshark.