Am I learning, or am I in airplane mode?
Reading Time: 2 minutes After semesters of completely online learning, the opportunities and shortcomings of hybrid education have become more visible than ever as students return to the classroom in non-traditional settings. These innovations will require change from everybody.
Online classes have been enjoyable in certain ways, such as being able to join a 7 a.m. class from the comfort of a bed or staying in sleepwear until the late afternoon. Offering versatility and accessibility (as they can be taken from different locations), online classes were a powerful tool when, due to a pandemic, students could not meet in the classroom.
However, the online delivery of education raised concerns about whether students were truly learning and retaining information. According to Anna Klawitter, a contributor for Meratas, “Recent polling from College Reaction, New York in April, showed that 77% of more than 800 college students surveyed said they felt distance learning through the internet is worse or much worse than in-person classes.”
During the pandemic, many disciplined students who woke up on time, exercised, and placed themselves in class-like environments managed to succeed in their academics. However, this could not be said of all students, especially those who struggled with the distractions of outdated or slow technology while trying to engage in online classes.
Now, with the pandemic in the past and students attending face-to-face school again, the emersion of hybrid classes has presented a unique set of opportunities and challenges.
Cassandra Vazquez, a UVU student studying English and literature, highlighted some of the benefits of hybrid classes. She said, “Hybrid classes can be tailored to meet the individual needs of students. For example, online coursework can provide additional resources, such as videos and interactive exercises, that students can use to supplement their in-person learning.”
Additionally, Alejandro Gonzalez, another UVU student studying computer science, explained, “Hybrid classes are often more accessible to students who may have difficulty attending in-person classes due to work or family obligations, transportation issues, or health concerns.”
Unfortunately, hybrid classes also present challenges for modern students. According to Northern Virginia Community College, hybrid classes are more difficult for students who struggle with procrastination, online temptations, passive learning, misunderstandings, forgetfulness, poor reading skills, social loneliness and poor keyboarding skills. A combination of some or many of these factors may make hybrid classes “much more time consuming and difficult” for some students.
Many people have been surprised by the quick implementation of hybrid classes. Students and teachers alike have needed to adapt to accommodate the unprecedented combination of online learning and classroom interactions. Furthermore, although some students have excelled with the new medium, many others may be struggling. For now, however, one thing is certain: the implementation of hybrid classes represents a departure from traditional educational methods and requires widespread change.