The Best of Both Worlds: A Look at Virtual Hybrid Courses
While online learning provides a great deal of flexibility for post-traditional students with manic schedules, online learning isn't for everyone. Some people need the accountability and interactivity that comes with showing up for class. In many cases, work schedules, young children and myriad other barriers may prevent students from physically coming to in-seat classes that meet multiple times a week. Columbia College has created a solution to meet the needs of these students: virtual hybrid classes.
What Makes Them Different
Virtual hybrids allow students several advantages over the traditional evening courses. They only meet one night per week, with approximately 1/3 of the course content delivered online. This allows students the remainder of the week to study course content and be present for other life commitments. The student is provided with assignments to complete during the remainder of the week. These assignments are submitted online and can be done around the student's schedule, provided assignments are completed by the deadline.
Virtual hybrids create an opportunity for variety of in-class options too. The instructor can be located anywhere in the world and can be streamed via web conferencing technology to the students in the classroom. This streaming is interactive, so students and the instructor can see and hear each other as if they were located in the same place. This 21st-century technology allows for desktop sharing, class session recording (to be posted online for the students' reference) and rich media sharing for an engaging classroom experience.
Virtual hybrid courses make it possible to offer degree programs in locations across the country that were previously impossible. For example, virtual hybrid courses have made teaching certification programs at Columbia College available at most of the Missouri locations; something that wasn't possible before the adoption of this technology.
Virtual classroom etiquette
Etiquette is important for any classroom experience, and virtual courses are no different. Be kind to your classmates and instructor by following a few best practices for virtual course learning:
- Mute all mobile devices, including your laptop and cell phone prior to class.
- Raise your hand if you have a question, or use the instant messaging function if enabled for your class.
- Be sure to arrive early to class!
- Speak clearly and project your voice as if giving a speech. This guarantees that everyone can hear and understand your thoughts and questions.
- Keep side discussions with classmates to a minimum. Little side conversations add up and can make it hard for others to learn.
Virtual courses create new opportunities for degree completion for many students and could be a great solution to manage your work, school and life balance. Curious about virtual hybrid classes? Talk to an academic advisor today, or check out our course schedules online.
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