USC: Palmetto College

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FAQs and Facts about Hybrid Courses

 

What is a hybrid course?
In "hybrid" (or "blended") courses, traditional “face-to-face” classroom instruction is combined with online learning. Since a significant amount of instructional and learning activities take place online, the time spent in traditional classroom instruction is reduced. The class is thus a blending or hybrid of both a traditional classroom course and an online course. The format offers students the advantages of more flexible scheduling, while maintaining the face-to-face contact with one’s instructor and classmates found in a traditional class.


What should I expect in a hybrid course? -- Click to View Expectations for Students --
Hybrid courses will vary in form and content from instructor to instructor, just as with a traditional class. The division of online and classroom instruction will vary depending on factors such as the course discipline and instructor preference. However, as a student, you can expect that a portion of your instruction and assignments will be presented in a traditional classroom and partly provided online. Some instructors may use the web to present online lectures. Others may only use the classroom for lectures and will present their course materials online in another format. A significant amount of the coursework will be presented and/or required of the student to complete online. A student may expect such online activities such as online discussions, group work, presentations, tests and quizzes, or other types of learning activities to take place online.


Are hybrid and online courses easier than regular classroom courses?
Definitely not! In fact, many students may feel they are more difficult. While it is true that online and hybrid courses allow a great deal more flexibility in terms of your schedule, there are real deadlines for reading, participating, and submitting assignments and taking exams—just like any other class. And, like other classes, your experience in a hybrid course will depend greatly on the subject, your own preparation and motivation for taking the class, and other factors outside the class that may affect your abilities to focus on the coursework.


Why do people choose to take hybrid courses?
Hybrid courses may appeal to you if:

  • Your schedule or other commitments prevent you from attending classes regularly.
  • You are located at a distance from campus.
  • You work well independently.
  • You are self-motivated and a self-starter.

 

What makes a successful  hybrid student? -- Click to View Expectations for Students --
Online and hybrid courses work best for people who are self-directed, organized, and self-disciplined. Taking an online or hybrid course is flexible, but it is still a lot of work. You must be able to balance the work with your other commitments. You should have a quiet place to access a computer at home or in a library or other location on a regular basis. Successful hybrid students should also be able to work independently, without close supervision. If you learn best through direct interaction with an instructor and other students, then a hybrid course may not be for you. 

 

What computer hardware, software and computer skills will I need?
As a student taking a course that has 50% of it delivered through an online format you will need access to a computer that is connected to the Internet, and that contains some basic software, much of which is free, such as Java and Adobe Reader. Your computer must have a web browser that is compatible with Blackboard.  Before starting this class, you should know how to use email, attach files to an email, download documents, use a word processing program, locate information online with a browser, and use Blackboard features (which can be learned quickly).  

 

Other questions?

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