The hybrid course format provides an opportunity to take advantage of both the face-to-face and online formats. Having some in-person sessions retains the class social dynamic and its sense of connection among students and faculty, while decreasing the amount of scheduled class time and commuting time for students and faculty.
Benefits to Students
Students at UW Bothell and nationally have indicated a desire for more hybrid courses. In a survey of Nursing students taking hybrid courses during Winter Quarter 2011, over 81% agreed that they are interested in taking another hybrid learning course.
There are a number of factors, which make hybrid learning attractive to UW Bothell students including:
- More opportunities to interact with course materials and resources, leading to greater engagement and enhanced opportunities for success
- Higher-quality peer interaction
- Greater flexibility in course scheduling, a boon to UW Bothell’s high percentage of working and commuting students
- Increased skills in self-directed learning leading to greater learner autonomy
- Skills in communicating effectively in multiple modes
- Increased technical skills
Benefits for Faculty
- Enhanced pedagogical practices as a result of redesigning the learning experience
- Better student engagement
- More flexible schedule and better ability to work from different locations
- More opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary practices (ie. course linking)
- Better online pedagogical and technology skills while still retaining the valued face-to-face interaction with students
Benefits to the University
- Enhanced university brand and reputation with the potential of being a leader in hybrid learning
- More efficient use of classroom space which could increase classroom availability
- Greater student access and enhanced student learning
- Active implementation of the 21st Century Campus Initiative's innovation and sustainability goals
Conducting a percentage of the course online enables a level of self-scheduled participation (for faculty and students) and can increase access to higher education for non-traditional students.
Beyond the scheduling differences, hybrid courses and their associated technologies provide new avenues for student expression and collaboration among students and faculty.
Additional pedagogical benefits include democratization of the classroom in giving equal voice time to all student participants, including English Language Learners. The face-to-face component can also mitigate the difficult transition to online learning that many students experience.