UH should embrace hybrid learning
As the pandemic winds down and vaccines are administered, schools are once again returning to in-person instruction. However, UH should embrace the best parts of both online and in-person by having hybrid courses.
COVID-19 undoubtedly changed students’ way of life. Schools had to adapt quickly, and online learning became the new normal. But now UH is hosting 80 percent of classes in person currently.
“I definitely prefer in-person classes, I feel like I’m held accountable to actually show up and do the work,” said economics sophomore Alyssa Gayle. “If it was online, I don’t think I would take it as seriously.”
Gayle’s sentiment is widespread among students. For the average student, enrolling in an online course decreases the likelihood of course persistence by seven percentage points. If the student continued in the course, their final grade would drop by more than .3 points on the standard four-point scale.
Studies have been consistently finding online courses reduce interpersonal accountability and institutional commitment for over 15 years. Face-to-face classes offer direct access to instructors, class discussion and peer networking. Meeting peers and forming study groups creates a strong support system where students can help one another understand concepts.
A benefit of online learning is free time to pursue a job or internship related to your field. The flexibility of online school means students can arrange school around their daily activities, rather than the other way around.
UH should embrace hybrid learning even after COVID-19 has passed. Students need the direct instruction and community building of in-person classes with the convenience of online school.
A good way to format hybrid learning is by having online recordings of in-person lectures available, with students being able to choose which way suits them best on any particular day.
“One of the biggest reasons [I’m for hybrid learning] is that as adult college students, we often have different responsibilities. Kids, jobs, etc. Being in hybrid learning makes classes more accessible,” said business freshman Nuit Garcia Gomez. “In-person classes are great for networking. With Zoom classes, it’s difficult to form a relationship with your instructor.”
Online and in-person both have ups and downs. In order for students to get the most efficent school experience and the best of both worlds, UH should have more hybrid classes.
Fernando Rivera is an Economics sophomore who can be reached at [email protected]