Hybrid courses, also known as blended classes, are common additions to college course catalogs. But what is a hybrid class? What are the benefits of enrolling in one, and how do you know if hybrid courses are right for you?
What is a hybrid course?
Hybrid classes combine traditional “in-person” discussions and lectures with online coursework. Different schools have different arrangements for this division of time, but generally speaking, a hybrid class will meet face-to-face roughly 50% of the time, with the remainder held online. There is no established standard across colleges and universities, so if you are considering registering for a hybrid course, check with your school to determine its precise composition. Here is some great information on online education.
What are the benefits of hybrid courses?
Hybrid classes have many benefits. One such benefit is reduced in-seat hours. If, for example, a traditional course met for two hours twice a week (four hours in total), the same hybrid class may meet for two hours only once per week. For those students with outside commitments – perhaps a part-time job – this hybrid format allows for far more convenience and flexibility.
Hybrid courses are an ideal way for instructors to add various types of multimedia to their classes, and the web-based portions of the course will often include items like video clips and Internet activities. Additionally, students who may be less inclined to speak during traditional lectures due to being shy have an equal—and less nerve-wracking—chance to participate in the online portion.
Perhaps the main benefit of hybrid classes is that they incorporate technology and all that it can offer without sacrificing the relationships built in face-to-face courses. One of the main complaints about exclusively online courses is that students do not build the same level of peer relationships or rapport with their professors. Hybrid classes circumvent this because students are both in the classroom, where they can build those relationships, and online, where they can take advantage of technology.
Are hybrid courses right for you?
In addition to the benefits above, there are several important aspects to consider before enrolling in a hybrid course. For instance, how technologically savvy are you? If you are new to online or web-based learning and do not feel comfortable with it, you may wish to take a workshop about online classes or consult a tutor before signing up for an actual hybrid course.
The other item to consider is how self-motivated you are. Hybrid classes require a certain level of self-regulation that face-to-face courses do not—in addition to attending class and completing homework, you must also ensure that you are staying current with the online components of your course. Some students complain that hybrid classes can feel overwhelming at first. If you intend to take one, ensure you remain organized about what you have to do for each portion of the course, and consider scheduling designated times each week to finish any online activities. Here are some great study tips that can help you avoid study distractions.
Hybrid courses offer many advantages to the modern college student. As technology advances and online learning becomes more prevalent, colleges will likely offer more hybrid options. As you look at your choices for classes, consider the benefits a hybrid course can offer you!