The ultimate guide to hybrid learning vs. blended learning

The ultimate guide to hybrid learning vs. blended learning


Absorb LMS


As remote and hybrid work grows across organizations, employers increasingly use hybrid learning models and blended learning techniques for workplace development. These techniques are being practiced in the work sphere as more efficient and cost-effective approaches to corporate training. This shift in workplace learning is expected to stick around as employees continue to look for flexible work options and professional development opportunities.

What is hybrid learning?

Hybrid learning combines traditional in-person training sessions with online learning activities. For example, some learners attend class in person, while others participate online synchronously, meaning they join the online training virtually alongside the in-person learners. This creates two distinct groups with different participation methods.

What is blended learning?

In blended learning, all learners attend in-person classes, but their learning is supplemented with online activities like pre-recorded lectures, quizzes, or asynchronous discussions. Everyone participates in both settings, though not always simultaneously.

What is the difference between hybrid and blended learning?

A hybrid learning environment uses online interactions to replace certain aspects of physical training with virtual components. On the other hand, blended learning incorporate both online and in-person instruction, allowing the two elements to complement each other for more effective results. It’s a nuanced, yet significant difference.

Hybrid learning vs blended learning in practice

Using onboarding training as an example, the difference should become clearer. In hybrid learning, you may take what was typically an in-person onboarding process and completely bring it into a virtual environment like a hybrid learning management system (LMS). Training sessions, assessments, documentation, etc. are all completed virtually in designated training spaces such as a conference room or training room.

In a blended learning onboarding experience, however, you may have some in-person training sessions, but your process also includes some virtual training modules and an online assessment that complement the in-person experience for both in-class and remote learners.

To wrap it up, the main difference is that blended learning emphasizes in-person training with complimentary online components and a hybrid learning model replaces elements of in-person learning for a more flexible, individualized experience.

What are the benefits of blended learning over traditional corporate training?

Before the hybrid learning model and blended learning techniques gained recognition, instructor-led training was the standard for employee development. Many organizations still use this method for real-time interaction and discussion. However, the numbers highlight that online learning continues to grow. According to LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning report, 50% of all top companies that offer learning and development (L&D) programs use online learning primarily, a 3x increase from 10 years ago.

Moreover, organizations have found the practical advantages of implementing physical and digital learning.

The benefits of blended and hybrid learning:

  • More cost-effective
  • More time-efficient
  • Increases the effectiveness of corporate training
  • Offers employees flexibility in their schedule
  • Offers the company scalability for corporate training
  • Increases accessibility

Implementing hybrid and blended learning in the workplace

According to a 2023 report from TechJury, the global eLearning market is projected to be worth $325 billion by 2025, so it’s clear this type of learning environment will endure long-term. Implementing blended learning techniques successfully in the workplace involves using a variety of learning tools available to you. For example, a blended learning approach involves both traditional learning and digital methods to increase training effectiveness, as the concepts learned remotely can be reinforced in physical settings.

Digital learning implementation also involves accessibility and personalization for employees. This opportunity for an individualized learning style and self-paced professional development is highly valuable for employee morale, engagement, and retention, especially for those who may face location barriers, illnesses, or other personal circumstances.

The most significant factor to consider when utilizing online learning is choosing the most suitable option for your organization. Hybrid learning and blended learning, which incorporate both in-person and online content, are both expected to see growth, but an organization's industry and internal structures can help determine the proper learning model to utilize for the most effective training.

Using new technologies as learning models shift

Why is this important? Businesses are progressively adopting digital learning models as remote work becomes commonplace and employees desire more flexibility and opportunities for professional development. According to Zippia, up to 37% of Americans will be working from home by 2030.

The rise of work-from-home options and the implementation of new technology have shifted the corporate learning experience to find the proper balance between hybrid, blended, and remote learning. This often involves using an LMS, so practicing distance learning and finding the balance between learning methods is simplified and training is more effective.

Implementing a hybrid learning management system for effective learning

Organizations quickly realize the benefits of employing these systems for online learning. For instance, 40% of Fortune 500 companies use learning management systems extensively to remain competitive. Furthermore, when it comes to learning, 58% of employees indicated that they prefer to learn at their own pace.

However, with the multitude of tech options available on the market, it can feel overwhelming to understand what will make employee training most effective. Fortunately, a hybrid learning management system streamlines this process. These types of learning platforms administer, document, track, report, automate, and deliver learning programs and course content.

An LMS is a valuable tool that can be utilized in both blended and hybrid learning environments. It delivers a cost-effective, time-efficient, and easily accessible learning experience. Additionally, online training content offers a level of flexibility in learning that employees want. Workers can learn at their own pace with individualized learning plans and access these materials whenever they need them.

Learn how Absorb bolsters blended learning in our success stories

The need for flexible learning

While the use of LMSs for corporate learning increases, what’s most significant to note is the need for companies to offer more flexible, personalized, and accessible learning solutions moving forward. Employees want opportunities to learn but value a customized and readily available solution that is most effective for them.

These advances in educational technology have made hybrid learning and blended learning environments more accessible and applicable than ever. As these learning technologies continue to see major growth in the coming years, organizations could utilize them in conjunction with different learning models, such as implementing an LMS, for more efficient and individualized employee training and an enhanced overall learning experience that best suits their learners and specific needs.

Learn more about Absorb LMS's blended learning solutions and see it in action with a free trial today.

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