Play, Things, Rules, and Information: Hybridized Learning in the Digital University


  • Elizabeth Losh


The term “hybrid learning” has recently been appropriated by the distance learning movement to delineate the features of a specific type of educational experience that blends traditional lecture and Socratic discussion with online computer mediated instruction. In many ways, however, this “hybridity” only reinforces traditional boundaries between learner and teacher, learner and learner, and teacher and teacher, because this kind of courseware-driven pedagogy ultimately only reifies certain ideologies of late capitalism oriented around efficiency, modularity, linearity, and surveillance in which the interfaces of so-called learning management systems are structured like a conventional teacher’s grade-book, and spontaneous forms of improvisation made possible by the unexpected connections facilitated by a course syllabus and particular aggregations of students are constrained by highly scripted interactions.