These questions will be addressed in the presentation, based on interviews with lecturers from the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) who have been running their courses in a hybrid mode for up to five years. Participants will learn about the rationale for hybrid courses, and about practical approaches and challenges. The IOE experiences have been synthesised to provide participants with prompts to assess whether this teaching mode is suitable for their own contexts, and how it would need to be resourced.
Online distance education nowadays relies on technology, and in face-to-face courses, technology use is increasing steadily. Yet we still separate both modes: students on different modes may access the same institutional systems, but they rarely interact with one another, probably based on a perception that distance education and face-to-face teaching require different approaches and methods. But in the light of technology convergence, is this still the case? The IOE interviews reveal an exploration of learning spaces, and of a practice that is still regarded as innovative, despite being examined for decades.
The idea of combining face-to-face and distance education is not new. Tight (1987, 16) lamented the “unreal demarcation” between both modes and advocated mixed forms of provision. 10 years later, Latchman et al (1998) saw a revolutionary potential for hybrid courses “in the near future”. Another decade later, case studies praised the potential, but highlighted difficulties (Popov 2009). More recently, the Blended Synchronous Learning Project (Bower et al. 2014) generated a range of case studies using current technology. But despite significant advances in communication technology over these 30 years, hybrid courses appear to remain a niche scenario.
At IOE, hybrid courses have emerged organically in response to different situations, leading to a variety of approaches. The main commonality is the use of technology, specifically web conferencing and lecture recording. Success is mixed; many lecturers are still raising concerns despite continuing with the hybrid mode. At the same time, the practice has started discussions around teaching quality, student expectations, and support needs. Capturing and reflecting on these aspects is key to understanding how technology shapes education today.
Bower, Matt, Barney Dalgarno, Gregor Kennedy, Mark J W Lee, and Jacqueline Kenney. 2014. Blended Synchronous Learning: A Handbook for Educators. Sydney: Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, Department of Education. http://blendsync.org/handbook.
Latchman, H A, Ch Salzmann, S Thottapilly, and H Bouzekri. 1998. “Hybrid Asynchronous and Synchronous Learning Networks in Distance Education.” In International Conference on Engineering Education 1998. Rio de Janeiro: International Network for Engineering Education and Research. http://www.ineer.org/Events/ICEE1998/ICEE/papers/351.pdf.
Popov, Oleg. 2009. “Teachers’ and Students’ Experiences of Simultaneous Teaching in an International Distance and on-Campus Master’s Programme in Engineering.” International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 10 (3). Athabasca University: 1–17. http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/669/1272.
Tight, Malcolm. 1987. “Mixing Distance and Face‐to‐face Higher Education.” Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and eLearning 2 (1): 14–18. doi:10.1080/0268051870020105.
tim neumann posted an update in the session Hybrid courses: Teaching face-to-face and distance students simultaneously as one single cohort  1 year, 7 months ago
Slides are available at http://bit.ly/altc1706