As classes return to face to face after last year’s unforeseen pandemic, “Zoom university” has already become second nature to students. Offering more hybrid flexible courses should have been a priority this semester so students could continue to feel comfortable. Many students are questioning the reasoning for hybrid flexible courses not being a more popularized option.
Hybrid flexible courses aim to take the best elements of online learning and fuse them with the best aspects of traditional classes for an all-inclusive learning environment.
Today’s students crave the flexibility of online learning and also seek the relationship of traditional learning. Students want the best of both worlds that hybrid courses can deliver. But the option to attend class physically appears to constantly outnumber hybrid courses.
Business administration student, Molius Dorvil, is uneasy about universities not giving students the option to choose a hybrid course.
“I don’t think the university is aware of how helpful offering hybrid courses would be for students,” Dorvil said. “Not everyone has the same learning style, not only does it offer flexibility but everyone has a certain pace they learn at and with in-class learning self-pacing doesn’t exist. At times I feel as if I struggle to keep up with the professor, especially in my math class but to me it’s all about having balance.”
After enduring almost two years of remote classes, many students are unaccustomed to the way universities operate. Florida A&M University student, Tamera Grant proved that she was quite disappointed that her courses did not offer a hybrid option.
“When I was able to take a hybrid course, it was convenient for me,” Grant said. “It allowed me to take additional classes that wouldn’t have fit into my schedule, as opposed to when I didn’t. It gave me the ability to work at my own pace and gave me an extra day to catch up, It’s been so long that I’m not used to taking in-person classes anymore. But I learned just as much and it fits my lifestyle. It would have been fair if the university would incorporate more hybrid courses for students who need to get used to the school system again. I am not a traditional student, so I have non-traditional needs.”
There are many great benefits when taking a hybrid course. InterCoast/Studies studies show that hybrid learning is just as beneficial as in-person learning. 60 percent of students say they feel more at ease having that balance between online and in person-learning. While many are opposed to hybrid learning, the United States of Department of Education conducted a study examination of in-class, online and hybrid courses. Students that were more successful were hybrid learners.
The kinesthetic or visual learning side of you may be appealing while being in class but when returning to the comfort of your own home, you can utilize your personal techniques for your learning style.
Professors such as Garfield Basant believe that teaching hybrid courses has given him a different outlook on electronic methods of education.
“I think it’s great for students,” Basant said. “The experience I had teaching a hybrid course from the first day to the end of the semester was great because it really gave me the confidence that I know my students are actually learning. We implement ways that make sure students are just as productive if they were in class every day. Implementing more instructional based activities is great for the online aspect in blending learning.”
For most, hybrid learning provides the ability to get the in-class experience while moving at their own comfortable pace. Students can, at certain times, still engage with their peers and also go back home and learn in a more adjustable fashion. We are not all one type of learner, so hybrid flexible courses should continue to be offered to cater to different styles.