Hybrid Education: What Does It Mean for Students?
Hybrid education is becoming more and more common. While combining online and in-person classes has many convenient factors, it can also be challenging. Transitioning from in-person or fully online settings to a hybrid setting can be particularly challenging due to the various transitions. However, hybrid programs are likely here to stay. Getting support from qualified professionals like life coaches and mental health professionals can help you to learn the skills needed to thrive in a hybrid college education and beyond.
Hybrid: The New Normal
The occurrence of COVID-19 has brought many changes to the education system. For some time, all classes were offered fully online. However, with the return of in-person education, aspects of remote learning have continued to be utilized in many programs.
Hybrid education is the combination of in-person and online coursework. This means that there is a combination of synchronous online and in-person lectures, allowing students to participate remotely. For some courses, a certain amount of in-person classwork is required. While other courses allow students to choose between in-person and online participation.
Benefits of Hybrid Education
There are many benefits to partially online education. First, it allows for flexibility. Without an option to participate from a remote location, students only had access to what was in the immediate physical area. However, a hybrid education allows students to participate in programs with the flexibility of traveling or living elsewhere.
This flexibility can be particularly helpful for those who may struggle in a typical college setting. For example, students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, or depression may struggle in college. Organizations like Northwest College Support help students by providing support while they are transitioning into adulthood. The flexibility of hybrid education allows students to take part in coaching and support while in an educational program.
Additionally, hybrid education is highly effective. A study published in Postdigital Science and Education in 2022 found that students involved in a hybrid education did better than traditional education on final exams. While more research is needed to better understand how online education will work in different environments, hybrid education programs are likely to continue to be prevalent.
Challenges of Hybrid Education
The combination of online coursework and an in-person traditional can pose many challenges for students. Below we will outline a few of the common problems and what tools can help.
Engagement in Hybrid Education
Many students can feel disconnected in courses that include online and in-person work. Whether you are in a physical classroom or participating remotely, it can feel challenging to interact with students who are not in the same environment.
Students who are in the classroom may need to communicate with those who are not. This may look like working over video chat in or out of the classroom. Those who are working online may struggle to engage with other students or the professor, who is generally there in person. The combination of working both in-person and online means jumping in and out of both worlds.
There are many ways to engage with others who are not in the same environment. Options to consider include the following:
Using video communication while working in a group
Connect with students over chat or email to build a report
Being open and authentic in relationships with peers who are not in the same environment
Make an effort to make sure that virtual participants can hear, see, and participate in group work
Connecting over the internet is becoming more and more common. Many of you will have the skills needed to communicate and connect with peers who are not in the same setting. However, it can take practice to engage with all other students when there is a combination of online and in-person students. Getting support from a life coach or mental health care professional can help. This often includes building skills for improved communication and helping you to overcome individual barriers.
Managing Multiple Environments
One of the main challenges of a hybrid classroom is having to manage communications both online and in person. The constantly changing environment can be especially hard if you struggle with schedule, organization, or focus. This is because there are multiple places where you can receive messages or connect with others, and, for many, it can feel overwhelming.
Getting organized and managing your schedule can help. By first prioritizing and making a schedule, you can decide what is needed for success in your specific situation. Setting yourself a manageable schedule and system to help you stay on task, focus, and communicate provides a base of support. This foundation of organization helps to remember essential communication, connect with other students, and successfully turn in assignments on time.
Managing multiple environments can feel overwhelming. However, with practice and support, you can learn the necessary skills. Remember to get help if you need it. These skills are likely to help you thrive in college and beyond.
The blend of in-person and online students presents new benefits and challenges. However, it is likely to continue to be offered and thus important to understand better. While hybrid education can be highly effective, it can take time to adjust to managing multiple platforms and working with students and professors who are not in the same location. At Northwest College Support, we offer programs where students can get the support they need. In our programs, we teach life skills such as organization and scheduling that can prevent students from losing focus in a hybrid classroom. To learn more about how we can help, call us today at (877) 485-2776 to speak with a staff member.