Once, learning meant sitting silently in a classroom for the required time. Now technology has become a part of education. Colleges and universities offer online, standard and hybrid classes. Online classes take place strictly online, standard classes in classrooms and hybrid classes use a combination of both.
The Internet was conceived with the goal of sharing information. The first Internet, originally called ARPANET, connected four major computers at universities in the southwestern United States (UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, UCSB and the University of Utah). Given that it was conceived with the idea of sharing information, it makes sense that the Internet is used for educational purposes.
Hybrid classes rely on both online interaction and in-person contact. Sometimes a hybrid course will rely more on one aspect than the other. For example, a hybrid class may be 80 percent online and 20 percent in person. It may be the other way around or a combination of both. Hybrid classes allow those with a busy schedule to spend less time commuting to and attending class. Hybrid classes may benefit those who have obligations at home or suffer from social anxiety or other disabilities.
Hybrid courses are graded and held to a standard. Some students may make the mistake of valuing one part of the class over the other. For example a student might disregard required meetings online, assuming that they are not as important as class time. Or, a student might spend less time in class assuming that the online instruction is more valuable.
Most hybrid classes follow the standard curriculum and semester structuring. If a semester in a college or university is 12 weeks, a hybrid class will most likely follow this same structure. Hybrid courses are unique in the fact that the online portion may vary from person to person. For example, if the instructor posts material that should be studied or read, it may take one student less time to complete it than another.
Individuals have learning pathways that are specific to them, according to the Institute for Learning Styles Research. Some students are visual learners, others learn best in modalities that are verbal, print, aural (hearing), haptic (touch) or kinesthetic (body movement). Hybrid courses appeal to a variety of learning styles. Visual and printing learning is achieved through the online portion, verbal through the lecture aspect. Some students will learn more quickly in a classroom while others will be at ease with an online course. Because hybrid courses combine both, consider your learning style when examining a hybrid class.
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