'Not as a temporary fluke but as standard’: realising the affordances of hybrid and online teaching for inclusive and sustainable education





hybrid, HyFlex, disability, online education, inclusion, accessibility


84.5% of disabled students (Disabled Students UK, 2022) reported that the continuation of online or distance learning and teaching options post-pandemic would be beneficial. While concerns about quality of experience, isolation, wellbeing, access to technology and poor pedagogy in online and hybrid interactions are legitimate and must form part of decision-making, so too must considerations about the affordances of these ways of working and teaching. Framed around inclusive practice, and flexibility and sustainability drivers to enhance belonging, community and collaboration, we argue there are imperatives for us to learn the hard lessons of the pandemic and to listen to the voices of those who benefitted from changes in how and where teaching and assessment happened, especially in terms of so called ‘hybrid’ teaching. Our argument is framed by reflections on our own institution’s approach to hybrid teaching and working, the literature on experiences of remote learning during the pandemic, and – most centrally – the experiences and perspectives of students with disabilities.

Author Biographies

Martin Compton, University College London

Dr Martin Compton is an Associate Professor working in the central academic development unit (The Arena Centre for research-based education) at UCL. He works closely with the Faculty of Life Science but his work, which focuses on digital education, is cross-institutional. He previously worked at the University of Greenwich in the Academic Development Unit where he oversaw taught lecturer-development programmes, peer review of teaching, digital education initiatives and the university CPD offer, including trans-national education support.

Alex Standen, University College London

Alex Standen is Associate Professor (Teaching) in the Arena Centre for Research-based Education in University College, London (UCL). Alex is responsible for Arena's academic development programme, which includes workshops and courses for colleagues from early career academics through to education leaders, and specific provision for doctoral supervisors and personal tutors, amongst others. Her research interests include postgraduate research student development and student–supervisor relationships and she has recently published on the doctoral education environment in Italy.

Ben Watson, University College London

Ben Watson is the Head of Digital Accessibility at University College London. He has experience of working across all UK education sectors to improve the physical and digital accessibility of education organisations. He led the OPERA (Opportunity, Productivity, Engagement, Reducing barriers, Achievement) project which reconsidered approaches to learning and teaching, digital systems and assistive technologies at the University of Kent and was recognised with a Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Support for Students. Ben is one of the founding chairs of the Further and Higher Education Digital Accessibility Working Group (FHEDAWG).


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How to Cite

Compton, M., Standen, A. and Watson, B. . (2023) “’Not as a temporary fluke but as standard’: realising the affordances of hybrid and online teaching for inclusive and sustainable education”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (26). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.vi26.948.

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