Norwich has growing number of ‘hybrid’ classes

Pay close attention as you read your syllabi at the start of next semester: You may be surprised by what you read as you find out you are enrolled in a “hybrid” class. These classes, a combination of classroom and online digital work, are now being offered at Norwich University in addition to other online class options.

But some students remain confused about what it is they are actually taking. “I am taking an intro level psychology class with Prof. Stone and for the longest time I did not know my class was a hybrid class,” said Taylor Stringfellow, a sophomore communications major from Warwick, R.I. “When I learned the definition of a hybrid class, then I understood,” he said.
Stringfellow explained that hybrid classes can vary depending on who the teacher is. However the overall concept is a class that is accomplished through both online and class work.
Kidane Hypolite, a sophomore history major from Natick, Mass., also did not know he was in a hybrid class.
“I am in a computer class where we meet weekly and have to complete discussions and quizzes online. I wasn’t aware there was an online portion of my class when I signed up for it,” he said.
Hypolite continued that even when someone in his class mentioned the class was a hybrid, students still did not fully understand what that entailed.
Yet even without knowing the true format of the course, Hypolite quickly became a fan of the hybrid model, saying “after starting the class and realizing that some of it was going to be online I thought that was cool. The term hybrid didn’t really register with me until it was explained. So now I know.”
The idea behind a hybrid class is to limit the amount of time the student has to be in a traditional class setting. This gives the student more time to get other things accomplished. However, Connor Evangelista, a freshman communications major from Middletown, Mass., warned that if the student doesn’t understand the concept of a hybrid class, they might not do so well.
“It’s because a hybrid class is partially independent. If you aren’t very self-reliant, than this isn’t the class for you,” Evangelista said. “If you are a very independent student than maybe an online class is something to look into.
Norwich offers online classes in various degrees. The hybrid class is just the newest addition that works to meets different students’ needs. Stringfellow explained the key difference he noted is “in the online class you do not meet with the teacher, whereas in the hybrid you do.”
The availability of all class types (traditional, online, and hybrid) has not yet been expanded to all majors, as Stringfellow notes “In my major there are only regular and hybrid class options but my buddy is a nursing major and she has some online class options. I guess it’s based off of your major whether you have online classes or not.”
Whether the class is hybrid, online or just a regular class, the process to register is the same. If the use of hybrid classes becomes increasingly popular, so might the rate at which they fill up during registration week.

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