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Graduation and Retention Network

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Hybrid Learning

Hybrid learning at USC exists as one more option to help students catch up on coursework, graduate on time, or even graduate early.  Hybrid learning refers to a new line of thinking that combines online learning with face-to-face classroom instruction.  This gives students more flexibility when planning their course schedules and achieving their graduation goals.  Instructors, too, can be more flexible in what courses they can offer.

What is Hybrid?

To be considered hybrid, a course would meet face-to-face in a classroom for 51% or more of the contact hours required.  The remaining time would be spent in online instruction.  Hybrid learning differs from blended learning (where more than 50% of the instruction is online) and online learning (where instruction is 100% online).

With hybrid learning, students work online in Blackboard, post discussions, dialogue with the instructor and their classmates, and read textbook pages.  Because online work prepares students with knowledge on the subject matter, class time can allow for more hands-on activities and application of the material.  Rather than meeting twice a week in the classroom, they might meet once a week.

Hybrid Benefits

  • Enhanced pedagogical practices
  • Efficient use of time and classroom space
  • Increased student learning and retention
  • More student-centered learning
  • More constructive, hands-on learning during class time
  • Increased flexibility in schedules
  • Virtual labs and field trips
  • Increased participation from discussion posts


Best Practices for Hybrid Instruction

  • Build on the information students learned online before class time.
  • Design one course that fully integrates online and face-to-face elements rather than an entire online course and a second on-campus course.
  • Create a dynamic, hybrid-specific syllabus.
  • Establish a strong, online presence and a sense of online community.
  • Create a seamless flow between on-campus and online meeting times.


My hybrid course allowed me to fit in 3 more semester hours in my busy work and class schedule.  And the instructor was able to give us more lab time since our lectures were completed online.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.