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May 2013 - Dr. Keith Restine, Associate Director of TLT

The Case for Hybrid

What's in a Name?

Hybrid and blended are terms for a type of learning that combines two or more learning environments. As early as 2003, Martyn identified the interchangeability of the two terms. In terms of higher education, the current use of the term "hybrid" often implies a mixture of face-to-face instruction with some type of electronic or mobile learning. In Texas, the Higher Education Coordinating Board has coined the term Hybrid to mean a course in which the majority (more than 50 percent but less than 85 percent), of the planned instruction occurs when the students and instructor)s) are not in the same place.

The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) definition includes two components:

  • Integrate online with traditional face-to-face (F2F) in a planned, pedagogically valuable manner
  • Replace a portion (institutionally defined) of F2F time by online activity

Sloan-C is a professional online learning society devoted to advancing quality e-Education learning into the mainstream of education through its community. Sloan-C is dedicated to providing access to high quality e-Education to individuals, institutions, professional societies and the corporate community. Originally funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Sloan-C is now a non-profit 501(c)(3), member-sustained organization.

The following chart is intended to help in determining the range of face-to-face (F2F) and online (electronic) time required for a course to qualify as a hybrid course.

Course Semester Credit Hours  TWU Minimum Class Time  Distance Education  Course Designation
(Time in F2F Classroom) 
Hybrid DE Course
(Time in F2F Classroom) 
Fully DE Course
(Time in F2F Classroom) 
1 SCH  14 hrs 7 hrs or less More than 2 hrs but less that 7 hrs 2 hrs or less 
2 SCH 28 hrs 14 hrs or less More than 4 hrs but less that 14 hrs  4 hrs or less 
3 SCH 42 hrs 21 hrs or less  More than 6 hrs but less than 21 hrs  6 hrs or less

2005 Sloan-C Workshop on Blended Learning
Martyn, Margie (2003). "The hybrid online model: Good practice.". Educause Quarterly: 18–23.
Texas Administrative Code 19 TAC §4.257

Challenges When Developing Hybrid


  • Changes in learning approach
    • From passive to active
    • From individual to collaborative
  • Changes in study and time management skills
  • Changes in attitude
    • Fewer F2F does not equal less work
    • More personal accountability
  • Changes in technical expectations


  • Manage risk
    • Colleagues
    • Students
    • Technology
  • Openness to change
  • Support for redesign efforts
  • Need to develop new skills

page last updated 4/15/2014 8:32 PM