I introduced myself to a small but enthusiastic group of 13 students thus afternoon, all of them enrolled in my short story class. They were keen, talkative, interested, and came across as motivated and engaged. We had a two hour class together. The third hour, scheduled for Friday mornings, is going to be a Hybrid hour that they can do online at their convenience.
I’ve spent a great deal of time this week thinking, debating, reading, and ultimately building the online module: A fact sheet giving an author bio. A Discussion Board with 4 questions relating to the text. And a Creative Writing a project in an online journal.
I’m excited about it. I think it’s a good use of time and technology. I know there are activities which lend themselves to this, thus freeing up our weekly classroom time for more in-depth activities and discussion. I planned the hybrid hour carefully, figuring students would be thrilled that they didn’t need to come in at 8:30 am on a Friday morning.
But while the 8:30 reprieve might have won some fans, the idea of hybrid was not a runaway success. Student responses were mixed, but included the following:
– I like real classes
– I learn better face-to-face
– I can’t do online. It doesn’t work for my learning style.
– But I want to have a class!
– I don’t have internet at home.
To be fair, some if this came from trepidation. It’s all new. Heck, I feel that way too. We discussed it in detail and agreed to give it a shot anyway. Part of the learning adventure.
Then on the way home, discussing this with my husband, he came up with a comment that I hadn’t considered. “If I had paid for a class, I’d be angry if part of it was online,” he said. “If I wanted online, I’d take online.”
Food for thought as we move forward.