Monday, December 8, 2014

Hybrid Courses

I found an example of a hybrid course at UW-Madison called English Hybrid Course- Online and in-Person: Session 1. It is a beginning level English class. This course is similar to LIS 201 in that there is an in-class component as well as an online component. However, this course is different because it only meets once a week for 3 weeks and it seems like almost all of the work is online and dependent upon the effort that is put into learning the content online at your own pace, while I feel like LIS put more emphasis on the in-class experience.

I would say that I had a good experience for my first hybrid course. The use of a course wiki and blog connects the students in a way that can't be experienced in a traditional course. I also feel like it used class time more efficiently, such as peer reviewing our essays at home rather than wasting time in class to do that. I feel much more comfortable using blogs and wikis as well. One thing I noticed is that there isn't much student interaction on the blogs and wikis unless it's required to comment. I feel like once hybrid courses become used more and students are more comfortable with the virtual classroom away from the classroom, students will use it to connect and learn more about their peers. Hybrid courses should be used more, but should make sure that the in-class component is more important than the online component.

A course about the online world of information like LIS 201 was definitely a good course to start implementing the hybrid style. However, I believe this technique could be beneficial in other types of courses as well. Hybrid courses would work well for writing courses and foreign language courses because the least productive components from the traditional style could be moved online to be done out of the classroom. Blogs and wikis could also be useful in other classes to stimulate classroom discussion outside of the classroom

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