The Benefits of Hybrid Online Programs

Benefits of Hybrid Programs
Hybrid learning can give you access and flexibility to an online course with additional support and classroom interaction with faculty and classmates.

Hybrid online programs are different from regular in person classes because they combine the luxury of being online and the privilege of seeing your instructor in person. After the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems as though the large sums of people who have never experienced online learning were forced to catch up and immerse themselves in the experience. Some people have qualms with online programs, others have problems with in person classes; today we wanted to share with you the pros of hybrid online classes which can give you the best of both worlds and hopefully merge these two groups together. Check out the benefits of online schooling in higher education.

Location

One benefit of online classes is the fact that you can choose your location when it comes to the online position of your courses. Sometimes class can get a little dull. Instead of taking class in your bedroom or your dining room, head down to a nice coffee shop and enjoy the area you are in. If you’re in a rush you can pop out your laptop anywhere and enjoy class from there.

Flexibility

Speaking of location, we’d like to point out that this is just one of the many ways that you can have flexibility when you take your hybrid online course. Not only can you take your class anywhere, sometimes you can take it anytime. If your course does not have a designated time, it can just be done at your own time. Oftentimes certain hybrid classes leave the interactive portions for when you meet in class, and leave the readings and self teaching portion for whenever you’re free in between those sessions. Even if parts of your online course aren’t self taught, you can still find yourself having a more flexible schedule.

Remember, depending on where your school is, a lot of the time you are away from the rest of your life is when you’re driving to and from school. Online courses make it so that you can have more time to balance out your schedule, especially with your commute out of the way. If you have family, a job, or any other duties you need to tend to, you can find balancing your school work way easier than with a daily class to attend in person.

Working From Home

The great part about having a hybrid online class is staying in the comfort of your home. No need to spend a while getting ready (well, maybe just your top half if your camera is turned on). Sit up in your bed and have your coffee by your bedside as you enjoy your session. After class you can go about your morning and start your day. If your class isn’t in the morning, being in your home is still amazing. Imagine avoiding the traffic on the way or from school: a dream!

Enjoy Hands On Practice

Hybrid classes mix the joy of working online and in person so you still get to experience the hands on practice you get from showing up in person. There are certain situations that may be hard to convey without an in person connection and that’s where in class sessions come into play. Sitting around classmates and your instructor may stimulate your brain in ways that it wasn’t getting stimulated while being online. This isn’t necessarily for better or for worse, but it’s important we’re taking our learning experience on from different angles.

Commitment

Alternating between online and in person classes isn’t hard but it will take some focus. There is a certain type of commitment that comes when you take your education in your own hands and have to arrange your schedule around this new teaching style. This commitment will build up your sense of discipline. When you are in an online class, you don’t get reminders throughout the day of when to go online unless you set them yourself. You’re not in school to see your friends heading to the direction of class, you’re on your own. Especially if your online portion isn’t set at a certain time, it’s up to you to build the self discipline skills to set up your own schedule and stick to it. This makes it so that your education is worth your time and money.

Higher Attendance Rates

Let’s face it, not every single lesson we learn in school is the most exciting. For some students, it’s a struggle convincing them that even one or two lessons is exciting. With flexible hybrid online courses, students find themselves attending class at a higher rate because they are in alternating environments. THere is a direct correlation with students who have great attendance with higher grades. Life is hard and sometimes we want to lean on things other than school that may lead us to get lower grades, but hybrid online classes can lower those absentee marks and sooner than later you’ll be remembering things like never before.

Hyper Focused Lesson Plans

Hybrid learning really makes for a meaningful learning experience. Since you get the best of both worlds with mostly online courses and occasional sessions in person, teachers tend to adjust their lesson plan to that. It’s one thing to just plan a simple A/B structure of lecture then lab during class, but it’s another to have to rearrange that structure to meet the demand of students. This means that online sessions may be shorter or focused on specific lesson plans that don’t need so much hands on work. That’s great because when you do meet in class, all of the instructor's energy is dedicated to that hands on training. With this process, lessons don’t get swept under the rug due to time restraints and instead all lessons are designated the appropriate amount of energy.

Increased Participation

Some people are extroverted, some people are not, and that’s okay! The only problem is, if you are introverted, it may be hard to get a word in during a 50 person class which may bring down your participation grade. With hybrid online sessions, students all get an equal opportunity to speak. Since online learning is so distanced, teachers feel the need to individually check in on students to make sure they are participating. If they are not actively calling on them, there may be some sort of check in process or Q&A in the chat space of the online meeting. This way, students don’t feel out of place trying to overshadow someone who is much louder than them.

This also comes in handy when students don’t like being put on the spot. Oftentimes students tend to shy away from answering questions just because they don’t like time restraints or being put on the spot. You can be a genius in your paper, but flub your oral presentation miserably. Discussion posts during your online learning do away with stage fright and give even the most introverted students a chance to peacefully elaborate on their opinions without any stage fright.

Continuous Learning

Normally with traditional in-person learning, students cut off their learning experience right when they leave the classroom. Hybrid courses provide students with a longer experience and forces them to continue conversations outside of the classroom. Sometimes assignments involve interacting with the outside world and coming back to report due to the fact that instructors can proctor this in person. Another reason why the learning is continuous is due to the fact that between class sessions, there are often discussion posts that are due. Discussion posts encourage students to apply what they’ve been learning in class and talk about it with their peers.

Straight and To The Point

The great thing about online courses for both teachers and students is the fact that it is straight and to the point. In class, we are bound to have our off days where we’re tired or we just feel like chatting. This goes for everyone! Even when students are placed into groups in class for projects, it would be delusional to think that every word coming out of their mouths is strictly about the project at hand. In online sessions, it’s kinda hard to slide off into random tangents with your neighbor considering everyone can see what’s going on in the discussion board. The online portion of hybrid learning is very much straight and to the point. You can get the materials you need, have a discussion about it and move on with your day. This is not to say that in person classes don’t promote a focused environment, but the online portion absolutely promotes a focused environment. This “straight and to the point” method of teaching is molded to assist students in the professional field when they are looking for a job.