“You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” We have all heard this phrase, meaning that you can’t have it all. For many things in life, this is and will always be true. But for the ever-evolving world of education, this may no longer be the case. The growth of and access to technology has transformed old specifically with regards to college-level education. Adults who did not pursue a degree during the “typical” ages of 18-22 can now start or finish their education without putting life on hold. However, many (including those who would take advantage of such technology) feel that something is lost when the “face-to-face” and more traditional elements of education are removed. It is for that reason that“hybrid” courses have risen in popularity in recent years.
What is a Hybrid Class?
Also known as a “blended” course, these terms are often used to describe classes in which the traditional, face-to-face time in a classroom has been at least partially replaced by online learning activities of one type or another. The purpose of such an educational design is to take advantage of the best features of both formats of learning. A hybrid or blended course combines both traditional and technological educational activities so that they support and enhance one another, rather than treating the online component as a mere addition to what is being done in the classroom.2
There are many advantages – and certainly some potential disadvantages – to this type of learning. The remainder of this article will focus on the positive case, laying out three reasons why adult students should take a hybrid class.
This is perhaps the most obvious reason. Hybrid classes can offer a true balance of structure and self-direction, for students who want and need a little of both for a quality educational experience. (And who doesn’t?)Consider this: If you were left completely on your own with a large textbook, and told to read it on your own schedule and then take a final exam (the contents of which you were not told) in order to demonstrate that you had mastered the subject, could you do it? Maybe you could, and if so you would be one among a small handful of people, most likely.
With a hybrid class, neither you nor your fellow students need to choose. You can have it all, or, as the saying goes, you can have your cake and eat it too! You will get to benefit from the knowledge of your professor’s lectures, and supplement it with learning activities aided by technology. In general, everyone wins.
This may be a less obvious benefit, but think about it: in a traditional classroom setting, such things as quizzes, final exams, and any group-related work had to take place within the already limited time. With a hybrid class, those assignments are moved online, and can be completed by students outside of class, in between classes, leaving the “in-seat” time for the professor to lecture and the students to ask clarifying questions. The entire educational experience is, simply, more efficient for all involved.3
The final reason that adult students should consider taking a hybrid class now is that it is likely (if current trends continue) to be the way many (or even most) college courses are conducted in the future. Hybrid classes are generally more affordable for an institution to conduct, and therefore more affordable to the student, which makes them more widely available. Improvements in technology will only make them more affordable. Even if the idea of taking a hybrid class as an adult seems intimidating to you,you should strongly consider it. You will have access to plenty of assistance and training on how the various online learning elements work, and you will still have the comfort of knowing that many of the traditional educational elements are in place
Taking a combination of hybrid and online courses will prepare you in the event that you want to pursue an additional or advanced degree in the future, or take continuing education courses required by your profession.
Does this sound like the perfect opportunity for you? Learn more about our hybrid distance learning courses at Point University. We offer courses that fit the needs of busy adults. For more information, please visit http://wesonlinepoint.wpengine.com/access/.
Point University, with campuses in Atlanta, McDonough, Peachtree City, Savannah and West Point, Georgia, as well as Birmingham, Alabama, offers convenient and affordable hybrid courses through its Hybrid program.