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Increasing accessibility through hybrid learning

Hybrid learningWith the explosion of smart phones and tablets, instantly accessible Internet and a limitless cloud, the way we gather and absorb information in 2015 is drastically different from the way our great-grandparents processed it in 1868 – and the ways in which we want to learn have changed, too.

At Oregon State University, OSU Extension and the Center for Teaching and Learning are working to accommodate just that through hybrid learning, a combination of on-site meetings with a course instructor and online course work.

“The idea of hybrid is that the online and the on-site really shake hands,” Hino said. “I would hope that within three to five years, OSU Extension could have a very robust online presence for delivering the kinds of information that the citizens want in a hybrid format that’s super convenient for them,”

But hybrid learning is still new territory for OSU.

Last spring, in a pilot program, a group of Extension faculty was offered the chance to develop hybrid learning opportunities. A few of those faculty members are now building their own hybrid courses, including a workshop in urban forestry, study skills for OSU Open Campus students and 4-H leadership training.

“Part of our challenge is increasing access to a world that’s increasingly online. And Extension needs to be there.”

— Jeff Hino, Learning Technology Leader, Extension & Experiment Station Communications


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