Hybrid or blended learning has been well-known for many decades now and it is defined as a healthy mix of online and place-based activities. There are several benefits in online learning activities, assuming that digital media and the respective pedagogy is well understood. There are also unique advantages to place-based learning, which should be blended into the mix, depending on the course and the instructor approach.
For example, it is expected that courses with unique lab equipment (e.g., biology, chemistry, electrical and mechanical engineering, etc), or courses with an emphasis on the human body (e.g., medicine, theater, dance, music, etc) are only feasible in place. On the other hand, courses that depend on generic computer software (e.g., informatics, media, etc) are actually better online, because it is just more natural.
Nevertheless, the whole learning experience is so much more than the cognitive domain (e.g., community, reliable assessment, etc). Actually, hybrid learning should be the only format of learning, so it is a mistake of ignorance or incopetence to adopt just one of the two formats, regardless of the situation (e.g., pandemic). Suprisingly, the majority of contemporary organizations are either defined as online schools, or campus. The former prosper during a pandemic, while the latter perish, in a binary logic, as if there was no middle road.
In blended learning, since most activities take place online asynchronously, there is ample time and space to organize place-based learning activities, in order to provide high quality community, or in order to adhere to health concerns. Choosing to digitaly transform all learning activities is the same as choosing a well-known inferior type of learning and there is no excuse, unless it has been a government mandate to do so.
A healthy mix of the two, adopts the place-based approach, in order to support weaker students and mostly, in order to provide reliable assessments of progress and certification. Even during a pandemic, a school should support weaker students with place-based seminars, and evaluate all students on campus. A school that is choosing to perform only online is actually choosing to disregard weaker students and most crucially it is choosing to lessen the value of its certification.