A HYBRID COURSE DESIGN: The Best of Both Educational Worlds by ProQuest


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                                                                     A Hy
                                                               The Best of Both E

                areer and technical educa-    Hybrid courses generally provide a sig-        part of their instruction online performed
                tors are constantly being     nificant portion of the learning activities    better, on average, than those taking the
                challenged to have their      online—so time traditionally spent in the      same course through face-to-face instruc-
                courses meet the changing     classroom is reduced, but not eliminated.      tion. With a hybrid course, students are
needs of their students in this fast-paced    By leveraging technology tools with the        generally required to do more work on
world we live in. New information and         more traditional classroom structure, you      their own, and this expansion of learning
communication technologies have revo-         are able to create a dynamic learning          time results in better test performance
lutionized the way we teach and learn         environment with faculty-student interac-      and subject mastery, according to the
in our classrooms. In addition, there are     tion as well as student-student interaction.   study. Unfortunately, there is less research
more nontraditional students returning to     I have learned that by combining the two       on secondary hybrid courses; however a
the campus seeking learning opportuni-        educational formats into a hybrid model,       study conducted by Project Tomorrow
ties that fit their lifestyles.               students are able to receive the best of       in 2009 indicated that online learning
    As a new faculty member at Middle         both educational worlds.                       nearly doubled among high school stu-
Tennessee State University, I had many                                                       dents since 2008. The number of middle
variables to consider when redesigning        What the Research Says                         school students taking online classes has
my program; I found that the hybrid           Research conducted by the U.S. Depart-         also climbed by 21 percent since 2008.
model provides the tools for me to create     ment of Education in 2009 indicated that          Elowin Harper, a family and consumer
engaging and worthwhile courses. For the      hybrid instruction is among the fastest        sciences teacher at Siegel High School in
last five years I have been creating hybrid   growing enrollment in higher education.        Murfreesboro, Tennessee, said, “Hybrid
courses that meet my course objectives,       This meta-analysis project identified          courses offer advantages to both the
while they provide flexibility and conve-     more than 1,000 empirical studies and          instructor and student. For the students,
nience to the diverse student population.     concluded that students who took all or        hybrid courses offer flexibility that allows

28   T e ch n iqu es   SEPTEMBER 2010                                                                          www.acteonline.org
Educational Worlds                                                                                                              PHOTOS BY ISTOCk.COM

  them time to juggle work, family and            biweekly discussions, completing online        the two formats. Guidelines need to be
  school. Many students see the hybrid            professional development workshops and         very clear with specific instructions for
  format as the best of both worlds. For the      podcasts, writing journals, and teaming        each assignment. Lastly, it is important
  instructor, the hybrid format provides an       up with secondary programs and local           to continually update and modify your
  unconventional, creative learning envi-         county agencies for community service-         hybrid courses. I use the students’ feed-
  ronment that utili
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