14 de jun de 2021

Virtual vs. hybrid learning – What are the differences and the benefits?

TREINAMENTO 0 minutos de leitura

The global education technology market size was valued at USD 106.46 billion in 2021 and its growth will be exponential. The impact of ed tech is obvious, with numerous organizations and institutions exploring tech-enabled teaching methods already.

To keep you in the know, we´ve clarified the most common topics in education technology for teaching and training, in higher education or corporate organizations.


1. What is virtual learning?

Virtual learning is defined as learning that can functionally and effectively occur remotely using computer-based tools, outside a standard classroom environment.

2. How does virtual learning happen?

Virtual learning can be asynchronous or synchronous (live):

  • Asynchronous virtual learning allows participants to access learning materials online at their convenience. Think of online courses like MOOCs or mobile learning apps like Duolingo.

    Benefits include: every person can learn at their own pace, re-watch or look over learning material multiple times. At the same time, this method requires more discipline and motivation . 

  • Live virtual learning occurs in real-time and requires virtual attendance at a specific interval in a common virtual space shared with other participants and an instructorthat can be remote or in a dedicated room in an organization or institution.

There are more technologies that make live virtual learning possible, from video conferencing tools, more accessible but less powerful, to dedicated learning environments such as virtual classrooms.

Benefits include: interacting and collaboration with like-minded peers and instructor, a dedicated and scheduled time to learn which will motivate participants

3. What are virtual classrooms? 


Virtual classrooms are a purpose-built technology solutions for live virtual learning. In the virtual classroom learners are joining remotely, while the instructor is based in a dedicated environment for teaching or training.


They are designed together with universities, business schools and L&D specialists – like in the case of Barco weConnect.

In the virtual classroom, the instructor engages with remote participants connecting from anywhere in the world in real-time, creating a rich, engaging experience.

Ideally, the instructor never loses sight of their participants, not even in breakout rooms and meaningful interaction and high engagement are guaranteed via tools such as polls, quizzes, videos, enhanced breakout rooms, etc. 

4. The advantages of virtual classrooms
  1. Global reach  
    Organizations and educational institutions can now deliver successful programs globally, to a pool of learners larger than ever. They can scale their efforts and gain access to new segments and bring together the best talents worldwide. In turn, participants have access to training that was out of their reach until now. 
  2. Diversity & inclusion
    Virtual classrooms encourages diversity and inclusivity through its global reach but also through its flexibility. Not only are participants able to join from any continent around the world, but also from any physical space connected to the internet. It is great for working people juggling full-time jobs, family duties and learning or for people with various disabilities.
  3. Cost-effectiveness 
    Teaching or training virtually will support reducing the costs of delivery and even of tuition or training fees, while not compromising on teaching and training quality. Travelling for either instructor or participants is taken out of the equation, just as accommodation or catering. Even more, other costs such as rental space, maintenance and printed learning materials will be drastically reduced. 
  4. Sustainability goals
    The same elements from above: removing travelling, accommodation and catering needs and reducing rental space, maintenance, utilities and printed materials, will help you step up your climate action plans. Now you can support your organization reach its environmental sustainability goals by lowering the CO2 footprint.
5. What is hybrid learning?
Hybrid learning, also called blended learning, is an umbrella term that encompasses multiple methods. It consists in a variable mix of live classroom-based, hybrid or virtual sessions, paired with asynchronous methods, virtual or analog (mobile learning, pre-recorded videos to presentations, cheat sheets, etc.).
6. How does hybrid learning happen?

Hybrid learning can take many forms. Learners attend live classes:

  • physically or virtually according to an agreed-upon schedule. They are all in the same shared space (physical or virtual) throughout all learning sessions.

  • in the physical classroom. Their program is complemented by virtual asynchronous methods

  • in the physical classroom or virtually depending on their preferences. That space is called a hybrid classroom. 

    Participants attend sessions either by connecting virtually or joining the physical classroom, while instructors join always onsite. 

    Just like synchronous virtual learning, hybrid learning benefits from a purpose-built platform – a hybrid classroom that can be adapted to the needs of the learners and instructors. 
7. What are hybrid classrooms?  
Hybrid classrooms are purpose-built solutions reuniting onsite and remote participants in the same live session in a unified, engaging, human-centered, and equitable experience.
8. The advantages of hybrid classrooms

Read our everything you need to know about hybrid classrooms in our 21-page Hybrid classrooms for a hybrid future e-book.

Download here>

  1. Flexibility 
    Hybrid classrooms can offer unparalleled levels of attendance flexibility. According to their preference or availability, participants can choose whether they join virtually or physically. 

  2. Best of both worlds 
    This flexibility will also support learners enjoy the best of both worlds - the online and the offline one - via hybrid learning. They will benefit from an interesting and varied learning path, get to know their peers and/or instructor in person and even travel and fully experience their institution´s campus or company headquarters.
  3. Glocalization 
    With hybrid learning, your organization or educational institution will become a melting pot of global and local perspectives and insights. It will be a most enriching experience considering at the same time the small details and the bigger picture – both essential for global companies as well as for today´s and tomorrow´s business leaders. 

Barco is your partner for successful virtual and hybrid learning

With the Barco weConnect virtual classroom solution you can train and teach both virtual and hybrid classes. In our virtual classroom, the instructor will engage with learners remotely, from anywhere in the world, never losing sight of participants, not even in breakout rooms. 

Learners will enjoy a rich, engaging learning experience in a virtual environment, meaningful interaction and high engagement via polls, quizzes, enhanced breakout rooms and more. They can easily switch between multiple available views. They can ask questions, including silent ones, chat with peers, answer polls and quizzes, draw or add pins to the whiteboard. 

In the hybrid classroom, the weConnect setup enables flexible training according to learner availability and preference, an interesting and varied experience both online and onsite and seamless interaction, with everyone able to participate in the same polls and use the same whiteboard, remotely or not. 

Join one of our demo sessions or read more about how the Barco weConnect solution can enable flexible and engaging learning experiences that will deliver long-lasting results interestingly and interactively.