The term hybrid is used to describe a course in which less than half of all of the instruction is delivered online. Traditional face-to-face instruction is reduced but not eliminated. With an online/hybrid course, the goal is to optimize student engagement by taking advantage of the strengths of both the face-to-face and Web-based environments.
What is the difference between an online/hybrid course and an in-person course with online supplementary materials?
In contrast to an in-person course with online supplementary materials, the instructor and students in an online/hybrid course interact with each other mainly online. Though there are occasional face-to-face meetings, the course is conducted primarily online.
In an online/hybrid class, students are expected to take a more active role in their learning than in a regular face-to-face class. Typically, students are expected to do the following:
- Participate by reading what their peers say online and responding to ideas and questions.
- Share knowledge and experiences about the process and content of the course.
- Organize their time effectively and meet deadlines.
- Be self-motivated and self-directed.
- Serve as resources for each other.
- Respect each others’ views and experiences.
- Read assigned materials and reflect upon what they’ve learned.
- Provide timely, meaningful feedback to the instructor and their peers.
- Be proactive.
- Be effective team members.
A student could complete the degree plan only taking online/hybrid classes. However, this option may limit the number of classes a student can take per semester, resulting in longer overall enrollment.
Although face-to-face discussions are very rich and informative, the online environment enables students to carefully craft their answers to questions and topics posed by instructors in their online discussions. This allows students to also find references and quotes from readings and various other media to supplement their responses, a novelty not readily available to in-class students. Students also gain the opportunity to respond to all of their other peers in a timely manner, whereas an in-class discussion may only allow for a handful of peer responses due to time constraints. Also, if you are uncomfortable in a face-to-face environment, the online discussions enable you to present your knowledge and understanding in a setting that is more relaxed and comfortable for you.
Generally, instructors will ask students to upload their documents and assignments through their personal TRACS dropboxes or through the online forums. Professors may also require you to email information or assignments to them via either the TRACS mailbox tool or your Texas State Bobcat Mail. For more information on TRACS, please visit their information page.