Pedagogies of hybridity in the post-pandemic university

Experiences, expectations and possibilities for learning and engagement in education. This research examines students’ experiences of hybrid learning in the post-pandemic university.

Student at computer


Dr Louise Lambert
Dr Alex Wade


This research examines students’ experiences of hybrid learning in the post-pandemic university. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, in-person lecturing was the dominant paradigm for teaching and learning in Higher Education. Learning in the same space at the same time was widely accepted as the best approach.

Public health responses to the pandemic accelerated the use of hybrid models of teaching and learning. These included the sudden use of synchronous video-conferencing tools (e.g. Teams or Zoom), and increased use of asynchronous (pre-recorded) technologies. This disrupted normalised pedagogies and shifted expectations of students towards experiences that meshed with their own of connectivity, e.g. social media. It opened a space of possibility, previously closed, in digital learning and applied digital literacies.

Simultaneously, hybrid pedagogies challenged the sustainability of the deeply collaborative, dialogic, interactive and embodied spaces of learning, where complex and dynamic issues of education are interrogated.

The research is located in the socio-economic discourses of the commodified university, where ‘hybridity’ has become analogous with ‘efficiency’, ‘flexibility’ and ‘agility’. Foregrounding how this is central to an instrumental and passive consumption of education, the research investigates how students navigate and negotiate hybridity, silhouetting the benefits and barriers in the future pedagogical development of education studies.

Drawing on time-space theory, it explores students’ expectations for learning in the post-pandemic university. Through the use of digital storytelling as method, students assimilate and disseminate their personal moments of engagement and disconnection in hybrid learning within the post pandemic university.

Research aims 

  1. What is the role of political, policy, media and HE discourse in how hybridity is constructed and comprehended in education studies in the post pandemic university?
  2. How do discourses and pedagogies of hybridity shape and locate experience and expectations of diverse bodies of students in education in the post-pandemic, post-92 university?
  3. How can digital and creative methods of storytelling be used to understand students’ experiences of pedagogies of hybridity?
  4. How can digital and creative methods be used as a method for informing and influencing future teaching, learning, leadership, administration and oversight of post graduate taught education programmes in relation to hybrid pedagogies?

Method of research

The project utilises a hybrid ethnography including digital storytelling. Hybrid ethnographies work across digital and non-digital spaces, synchronously and a-synchronously.

Phase 1: The social and cultural constructions of hybridity

Activity: Collaborative workshop using social and cultural artefacts to explore global hybridity discourses; use of Discord as an ongoing discussion; comic making workshop

Phase 2: The experiences of hybridity through digital storytelling

Activity: Digital storytelling using StoryboardThat

Phase 3:

Activity: Sharing and dissemination


The project is in its mid phase. Findings to date foreground the following areas:

  • The effects and affects of learning and living across pandemic space and time
  • The ambiguities of hybridity
  • Online and hybrid participation
  • The reclamation of space through time as money

If you would like to read the 6-month report which details the project and initial findings in more depth, please contact one of the project leads.

Application of research

The research ultimately aims to understand the experiences and expectations for learning and engagement in the post-pandemic university.

It aims to consider the multiple affordances of new modes of teaching and learning and the ways these impact education studies as it is critically engaged with the complex, dynamic issues of contemporary global education.

This understanding can be applied to developing models and modes for teaching and learning in contemporary educational spaces.

Learning from the project will be used to inform the development of a new Master’s level module in teaching and learning in hybrid spaces. The development of the module will draw on the collaborative work of the participants and researchers on the project.