What are the Differences Between Online, Blended, and Hyflex Learning?

With all the technology available at our fingertips in our modern age, it is fully within our means to provide learning options outside of a traditional classroom setting. It is equally unrealistic to expect one learning modality to function optimally for every student, as each student has unique needs and circumstances that cannot always be accommodated by in-class synchronous learning. 

Due to this fact, it’s important to choose a school that offers multiple learning options so you can help your child pick which one works best for them and their unique learning needs.

That being said, unique learning options can be confusing to parents just entering the world of hybrid education and may leave you wondering - what are the differences between online, Blended, and Hyflex learning? And how do I know which one is the right fit for my child? 

Here are the key differences between each learning option so you can make an informed decision for your child’s education. 


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Online Learning vs Blended Learning

The popularity of online learning has increased in recent years as students are seeking opportunities where they can accomplish their goals outside of school, be it athletics, performing arts, work, etc., but complete a quality high school education that opens doors to a post-secondary institution of their choosing. 

Additionally, many parents experienced a shock in recent years due to the rapid onset of synchronous online learning that was necessitated by the pandemic. Many schools were unprepared for the realities of online learning and were ill-equipped to provide a quality education outside of a traditional classroom setting, burdening students with heavy workloads and busy work. 

Online and Blended learning options provide students with the same education they would receive in a classroom setting but delivered in a manner that suits their individual needs. 

But what are the differences between online and Blended learning?


What is the difference between online learning and Blended learning?

The main difference between online and Blended learning is driven by Blended learning’s hybrid methodology of allowing students to partake in both online and in-class learning. Full-time online students might not step on campus for weeks, if at all, but Blended learning students benefit from both in-person and online learning environments, gaining valuable experience and skills from both modalities. 

Blended learning gives students the ability to determine on an individual basis to what degree of flexibility their schedule requires. Some students choose Blended learning without any need for accommodations, but the option to learn the same course material on their own time is attractive for many who seek an added academic challenge.

Discover 5 myths about online learning and how a school that is experienced in online education confronts each potential frustration head-on. 


The pandemic revealed the frustrating reality that many schools are not equipped to provide quality education in an online format. It’s important to look at any potential school and assess to what degree of success they experienced when forced to rapidly convert to an online learning environment. 

It is equally important to look at the quality of online education provided by each school. Schools like OLu meticulously curate online curriculums to mirror in-class learning, so the only difference is the manner in which the content is presented. 

Some schools offer online programs that have been meticulously analyzed by both NCAA and UC accreditation systems to ensure online courses maintain their quality.

Learn more about how OLu’s Blended Learning program is uniquely designed to help your child succeed in a Division 1 school. 


What is the difference between online learning and HyFlex learning?

HyFlex, short for Hybrid Flexible, differs from online classes by merging in-class learning with independent study. Where Blended Learning offers on-campus students the opportunity to take up to 4 classes on campus and the remainder online, HyFlex courses are a personalized combination of in-class and independent study. This results in increased one-on-one instruction between students and teachers while teaching on-campus students valuable study skills and habits like self-discipline and self-advocacy.

Read our helpful FAQ section regarding online learning here. 

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Topics from this blog: Academics