What is Hybrid Learning?

Hybrid learning (HL) is a mode of academic course delivery that combines short periods of real-time engagement between lecturers, subject matter experts and students with sustained periods of self-paced, fully online learning by the students. This may, for example, include a short calendar block of on-campus lectures or online webinars, followed by longer periods of online learning that allows students to progress at their own pace.

HL is particularly suited for

  • working adults continuing professional learning in their field;
  • students for whom the opportunity cost of full-time residential studies on the premises of an academic institution is unaffordable;
  • occasional students (learners that are only interested in a particular module that may form part of a broader programme, but that they feel they are not able/required to complete the entire programme at that stage;

In some cases, HL offerings are designed to enable undergraduate students’ academic success. This can include learning units (online learning opportunities that help students grasp foundational knowledge before commencing with the rest of the course) or further opportunity modules (flexible opportunities for students to complete their academic year).

Over the past 6 years, Stellenbosch University (SU) has steadily built its capacity to apply digital learning technologies to enrich the learning experience of its students. By 2019, the university identified the expansion of hybrid learning as an explicit strategic objective. This is a mode of academic course delivery that allows more flexibility for, example, working professionals (such as yourself) and those that cannot study on our campus full-time. 

Stellenbosch University (SU) envisages that by 2025, hybrid learning (HL) students will form 25% of the total student body. According to SU’s June 2018 enrolment figures, 11% of the institution’s students are already HL students. With the implementation of hybrid learning, SU joins the ranks of some of the leading international universities that also offer this type of learning.