The Not-So-Scary Hybrid Courses

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Kira LeBeau attends class in the comfort of her bed while enrolled in an American Institutions hybrid course here at Snow. Kira did not know exactly what to expect when she originally found out she would be taking her first hybrid course. Photo by Katrina Christensen

What in the world is a hybrid course?

‘Hybrid’ or ‘blended’ college courses are simply those that are held both in-class and online. They incorporate both face-to-face and online methods of teaching in one course. Some may be delivered through interactive video and include online programs or other required online activities.

Even though these courses are not presented in the traditional face-to-face environment, where the instructor lectures and the students take notes, there are students who prefer hybrid courses.

“Yes, I like them,” said Kalin Wall. “Since a bunch of it is online, there’s basically no paperwork. And it’s better for learning because you can learn from the teacher and the online explanations.”

However, there are disadvantages as well. Each course faces unique challenges when transitioned into a hybrid. Aspects of some courses may require students to be physically present in order to gain the knowledge needed for the course. As much as this generation does not want to admit it, some things you just can’t learn on the internet.

Foreign Language Department Chair, Travis Schiffman, said, “For students taking a foreign language course, acquiring proper feedback for speaking and listening may be limited, even with the current advances in video and audio transmission.”

Luckily, the good outweighs the bad when it comes to hybrid courses.

In addition to teaching the course with more delivery methods, hybrid courses provide other benefits as well. For example, students don’t have to be in the same room as the instructor to attend class because of the great advantage of technology.

Hybrid courses also tend to be taught a set amount of days in the classroom and a set amount of days online. Whether it be on the school’s website, in a chat-room, or even a live video feed, instructors will teach their students online for those days. Students benefit from this because they can attend those classes from any location with internet access. The instructors of these courses benefit in a similar way.

In these ways and more, hybrid courses are a brilliant advance in education. Now that you know what a hybrid course is, are you going to take one?

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