It is no secret that online programmes have become tremendously popular in recent years. They have expanded from one or two classes at a few colleges to complete degree programmes and online-only universities. While there are clearly benefits to online-only programmes, there are also some negatives — like the inability to see your classmates or lecturers face-to-face.
This is where “hybrid classes” come in.
What Are Hybrid Classes?
Hybrid classes are defined by colleges differently, but usually, they will meet online half the time and in person the other half. Some may characterise it as a 25-75% split instead, but the idea is that they are taking the finest features of online learning and the best aspects of traditional classrooms. This combination enables for an all-inclusive learning environment for many pupils.
How Do Hybrid Classes Work?
Here’s an example:
A standard 3-credit course would normally meet Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour and a half each time in the classroom. A hybrid course, instead, may meet online on Tuesdays and in person on Thursdays.
Some hybrid classes may allow you to take the online component of the class when it is convenient for you each week, rather than at any specific fixed time. It might also be made up of online assignments, conversations, and projects rather than a real class per se.
It’s crucial to remember that colleges and even individual instructors might have dramatically diverse opinions on how hybrid programmes operate. If you ever have any doubts about what to anticipate from a hybrid course before you sign up, be sure to contact out to the proper department or teacher ahead of time so you can guarantee the arrangement is right for your education and learning preferences.
Are Hybrid Classes Right For You?
While hybrid classrooms provide students a terrific option to exclusively traditional or online education, they are also not suited for everyone. Here are some perks and cons to both.
Pros of Hybrid Classes
With a compromise between conventional and online learning, hybrid programmes provide various distinct benefits that you wouldn’t obtain with other course styles.
Lectures Are On-Demand
By providing most of the lecture content via the online components of the programme, students may go back and rewatch or study the knowledge at any given moment – even weeks later. This might be a fantastic study aid or resource for pupils that may be experiencing problems in class.
This can also enable students to enhance their midterm and final scores because if they are missing a portion of notes or can’t make sense of what they took down, they can go back and acquire the exact information they need.
Face-to-Face Time is Spent More Effectively
For some hybrid classes, the lecture component of the class occurs online. This permits the in-person class time to be spent more effectively. These in-person seminars might involve laboratories, group activities, in-depth discussions, and more. Students might also utilise this opportunity to ask the lecturer questions or work with others.
Multiple Learning Styles Can Be Successful
Every pupil learns differently. Hybrid classes adapt itself to multiple techniques, as it allows students to learn audibly (via lectures and recorded content), visually (with slides and presentations commonly included in the class), or in a hands-on fashion by participating with classmates during the scheduled in-class time.
Those that perform well in lectures and discussions get to experience the sort of atmosphere where they succeed, while those that want to have more time to assimilate the content without distractions and interruptions also have the option to do so.
There is More Flexibility than in Traditional Classes
The fundamental allure of any online learning opportunity is the remarkable degree of freedom afforded to students. Especially when it comes to scheduling. Hybrid programmes may involve time spent face to face, but the amount of time in the classroom is substantially less than in traditional classes, allowing students to manage employment, a social life, extracurricular activities, or even visiting office hours for other classes.
They Make a Great Stepping Stone to Online-Only Classes
If you’re considering attending online-only classes, hybrid courses offer a perfect intermediate step. Adapting to online learning might be challenging if you don’t have any experience. Attending a hybrid class is an excellent opportunity to test the waters and see whether online classes are the appropriate fit for you before you plunge in with both feet.
Cons of Hybrid Classes
Although there are a number of positives, hybrid programmes are not suited for everyone. These demand great time management skills and might be tricky to fit into a schedule if your in-class time is simply once a week. Here are some more things to consider before enrolling in a hybrid class.
Hybrid Classes May Require More Work
The crucial thing to remember is that the online component of class does not count as homework. It just replaces the class session that you don’t have to physically attend. You will still be required to complete the same amount of work as you would if you were in a regular class. The average norm is 9-10 hours a week of homework for each 3-credit class, so make sure you’re considering that time into your calendar as well.
There are Some Aspects of Hybrid Class Schedules that Aren’t Flexible
Online lessons are flexible. The curriculum is constantly available and as we noted earlier, this is a significant benefit of hybrid classes. Yet the in-class sessions are just about as flexible as a typical class (which means they’re not!). With many lecturers employing face-to-face time for more in-depth discussion and explanation, attendance is vitally crucial.
Hybrid Courses Require More Responsibility and Commitment
Time management is just as crucial to hybrid programmes as it is with courses that are taught 100% online. Aim to set aside at least a comparable amount of time for your face-to-face sessions to finish the online components. If you have problems arranging a timetable that permits you to get everything done or you’re a professional procrastinator, think hard about if hybrid classes are ideal for you.
Hybrid Classes Can Be New for Some Professors
Several instructors and colleges are still relatively new to providing hybrid programmes. As such, they don’t have all the kinks sorted out in certain circumstances. There may be technical issues, or the lecturer may have a hard time transferring what they formerly taught in class to the screen.
Having a look at internet evaluations of a lecturer or interviewing students who previously took the hybrid programme might help you acquire some insight. But if the class is a first-time hybrid offering, you could just be a guinea pig.
Should You Take a Hybrid Class?
If attending a hybrid class is a possibility, it’s crucial to examine both the positives and downsides, but also your learning style and academic goals. Certain classes aren’t fit for a blended learning environment, even if it’s available. Instead, the course may be crucial to your degree or major. In this scenario, you could gain more by attending a typical class.
And for other classes, they may be totally taught online, making the traditional component of the course feel like a waste of time.
Conducting your homework is one of the greatest methods to discover if a hybrid course is good for you. You will want to chat to students who previously took the class. Whether it was a traditional, online, or hybrid course, analyse the course material, and look into how your institution handles hybrid classes as a whole. This will help you make an educated decision on your schooling.
It’s crucial to note that that some classes, especially moving ahead, may only be offered as a hybrid course. If this is the case, you may have no option in the matter. Especially if your degree needs that class.
Hybrid programmes actually blend the best of both worlds when it comes to conventional and online education, and for many, this combination may work in their advantage. Some are better suited to all traditional classrooms or all online courses. Giving attention to your strengths and limitations can help you determine if it’s the best course of action for you!