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Hybrid courses, also called blended learning, blend face-to-face interaction such as in-class discussions, active group work, and live lectures with typically web-based educational technologies such as online course cartridges, assignments, discussion boards, and other web-assisted learning tools. The degree to which the design of hybrid courses utilize traditional classroom and online learning environments varies, being largely dependent on the subject matter and overall nature of a course. Regardless of design, such courses may be expected to deliver instruction in both an asynchronous and synchronous manner, and are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s society.
Institutions of higher education choose a hybrid course delivery method for various reasons, including the following:
- Hybrid courses appeal to the market of busy working adults who choose to complete their college-level education beyond their late teens and early twenties. Hybrid courses allow these adults to fit occasional class time into their busy schedule while completing the remainder of the course work over the internet.
- Hybrid courses reduce pressure on university classrooms. The costs to build and maintain a university is high. Hybrid courses provide a solution to crowded classrooms, since much of the course work is completed on a virtual campus.
- They bring students together only where/when needed, allowing them to self study otherwise. For example, a chemistry course may require students to perform experiments in a physical laboratory; but the reading and writing of the course could be completed outside of the classroom.
Indeed, hybrid courses have been described as "the most prominent instructional delivery solution" since they provide the ever-growing and increasingly diverse academic world with the flexibility of fully online learning along with valuable collaboration achieved through face-to-face student-student and student-instructor interaction. A recently published meta-analysis conducted by the U.S. Department of Education indicates that a hybrid course design has the potential to enable instructors to offer students a greater range of learning avenues and uphold educational and academic design standards, even when instructing large classes and non-traditional students living sizable distances away from campus. As a consequence of the latter, institutions of a higher education implement hybrid designs as a cost-effective strategy, utilizing staff and resources as effectively and efficiently as possible while standardizing the learning experience and relieving instructor discomfort generated by the larger traditional classroom environment. However, an important and realistic consideration is the difficulty sometimes generated in the development of hybrid courses which requires instructors to sacrifice their autonomy in teaching in order to work with instructional design experts. Other issues that may present problems for faculty include fear of failure of the technology, lack of preparedness from the students, and lack of support from the faculty institutions. This along with other issues may lead to a large initial expenditure in time and resources.
A study of students in online, hybrid and face-to-face courses for nearly five years found higher fail and withdrawal rates in online courses. On the other hand, students in hybrid courses were as likely to complete the course as those enrolled in face-to-face courses. 
With a rationale similar to higher education, government, non profit and the private sectors are more frequently using hybrid courses. These range from a course designed for a new employee and their supervisor to the annual company training to certification requirements that may require both academic, hands on work, with face to face interaction.
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