While online classes were a good solution to resuming education amid a global pandemic, there’s still nothing like the intimacy of face-to-face education. Being in a classroom or school setting exposes a student to optimal environments for intuitive learning — something that COVID-19 has sabotaged.
Because of the demand for more convalescent modes of learning amid COVID-19, educational institutions have begun to adopt the hybrid learning model. Finding the perfect balance between keeping students safe from the virus and resuming in-person learning, hybrid learning combines traditional academic systems with digital learning solutions.
Hybrid Learning in College
The hybrid learning model finds significance in all academic levels but is especially more crucial in higher learning. College students require an educational format that is accessible and synchronous with traditional learning methods at the same time to prepare them for the real world.
This is why many colleges and universities are adopting the hybrid model in their own unique ways. Some opt for a 50/50 attendance system, creating a curriculum that allows half of the class to attend online while the other half takes classes virtually. Others divide their curriculum to suit the two learning formats, with face-to-face academic discussions and computer-mediated activities.
How Do College Students Feel About the Hybrid Learning Model?
As shown by the annual Sallie Mae/ Ipsos survey, the hybrid learning model is well-accepted among college students, with 89% saying that they prefer it over a full online curriculum. Only 17% of students would like to continue with full online classes while 75% say they are eager to return to campus for face-to-face learning.
Case Studies: Hybrid Learning Solutions in U.S. Schools
College institutions all around the U.S. have effectively transitioned to hybrid learning. In Washington, D.C.’s George Washington University, the hybrid model is used to complement in-person learning, with faculty providing students with online resources and learning materials that they can use to reinforce what they have discussed in the classroom.
Odessa College in Texas has also adopted the hybrid learning model for 35% of its courses. Students here attend class on campus twice a week, while the remaining schooldays conduct classes online both synchronously and asynchronously.
Portland State University was the first to create a program for flexible learning, launching its Attend Anywhere pilot program that currently has over 5,000 students. In Attend Anywhere, classes are conducted on campus but are streamed live via Zoom to cater to students who prefer to attend online.
Education at the Time of COVID-19
COVID-19 has put a strain on global education, but luckily, schools are beginning to create new ways to cater to students’ educational needs. With the hybrid learning model that brings back in-person learning but with a modern digital twist, the future of academics is bright, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.