Embracing hybrid teaching: empowering the future of education


In the face of the unprecedented challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Further Education sector was compelled to adapt rapidly and embrace innovative teaching and learning approaches. The shift towards digital technologies and virtual interactions opened new possibilities and redefined the learning landscape. Among these emerging approaches, hybrid teaching emerged as a powerful method that blends face-to-face and remote learning experiences.

The latest update to the Digital Teaching Professional Framework (DTPF); Element B5 – Hybrid Teaching Context; demonstrates our commitment to proactive support in delivering excellent services and training within the Further Education sector.

A paradigm shift: becoming explorers and collaborators

The year 2020 was not only challenging, but also a year of transformation. It forced us to step out of our comfort zones and explore novel teaching methodologies facilitated by digital tools. As educators, we demonstrated resilience and adaptability, embracing a new vocabulary that encompassed terms like ‘hybrid teaching’ and ‘synchronous/asynchronous learning’. We became explorers and collaborators, willing to try new things, learn from our mistakes, and share our successes [1].

Understanding hybrid teaching

The term ‘blended learning’, often used interchangeably with ‘hybrid teaching’, combines face-to-face and remote learning activities to enhance the overall learning experience. However, hybrid learning goes beyond blending different modalities; it also enables learners to participate in the same session from various learning spaces. While some learners may physically attend a classroom or workshop, others can join virtually using different technologies and connectivity [2].

Optimising the hybrid learning experience

To effectively engage learners in a hybrid teaching environment, it is crucial to adapt pedagogical approaches and design learning activities that cater to the diverse cohort of learners. By blending asynchronous learning, which allows learners to access structured activities at their own pace, with synchronous interventions, we can focus on developing higher-level skills and provide individualised mentoring to support learners’ understanding, performance, and progress. This approach ensures that each learner benefits from a differentiated learning experience.

The Digital Teaching Professional Framework and collaboration

Acknowledging the challenges presented by hybrid teaching, we initiated Reflective Exploration projects in 2021–22 and received invaluable support from organisations such as North Hertfordshire College, Weymouth College, Loughborough College, and Step2Skills. These case studies aimed to explore and develop strategies for effective hybrid teaching. Building upon these insights, we are proud to introduce Element B5 – Hybrid Teaching Context within the Digital Teaching Professional Framework (DTPF) to provide educators with a comprehensive guide for delivering excellence in hybrid learning environments. Element B5 was developed in collaboration with Jisc and with particular thanks to Jisc Subject Specialists: Scott Hibberson, Catherine Evans and Laura Hutton; as well as colleagues from Wales: Olivia Sills, PGCE Lecture and Teaching & Learning Mentor, and Charlie Hammond, Digital Transformation Manager at Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion,, as well as Emma Johnson, Principal Lecturer /Deputy Head of School: Business, Tourism and Management and AAT Coordinator at NPTC Group of Colleges.

Case Studies: Driving Innovation in Hybrid Teaching

The North Hertfordshire College case study highlighted the importance of creating an inclusive learning environment by leveraging digital tools and ensuring equal opportunities for all learners. Their approach embraced technology to bridge the gap between physical and virtual attendees, enabling seamless collaboration and interaction. Read the case study on the ETF website.

The Weymouth College case study emphasised the significance of a well-designed digital infrastructure to support hybrid teaching. By leveraging a robust online platform and fostering digital literacy among staff and learners, they successfully facilitated meaningful engagement and ensured the continuity of education. Read the case study on the ETF website.

The Loughborough College case studies showcased the power of blended learning and the integration of digital technologies to enhance practical skills development. By combining asynchronous content with targeted synchronous interventions, they optimised learning outcomes and empowered learners to excel in both physical and virtual learning spaces. Read the case studies on the ETF website by clicking here for the first case study and here for the second case study.

Step2Skills‘ case studies underlined the importance of personalisation and learner-centered approaches in hybrid teaching. By providing individualised support and mentorship, they nurtured a sense of belonging and ensured that learners’ unique needs were met, regardless of their physical or virtual presence. Read the case studies on the ETF website by clicking here for the first case study and here for the second.


The Covid-19 crisis acted as a catalyst, propelling the education sector into a new era of innovation. Hybrid teaching emerged as a powerful and versatile approach, seamlessly blending face-to-face and remote learning experiences. By embracing this paradigm shift, educators can optimise the learning journey for all learners, fostering knowledge acquisition and skills development.

We are proud to introduce Element B5 – Hybrid Teaching Context within the Digital Teaching Professional Framework (DTPF), which empowers educators to navigate the complexities of hybrid teaching and provide outstanding education and training. Let us continue to embrace the spirit of exploration, collaboration, and innovation as we forge ahead into the future of education, where possibilities are boundless, and learners are at the heart of every endeavour.

[1] Compton, M., 2021. Free, easy and fit-for-purpose TEL; lessons learned the hard way by a non-IT whizz
[2] Cheseldine, 2021. Moving a Course Online.