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The Student’s Guide to Hybrid Learning

Anna Klawitter January 11, 2021

In this day and age, schools have begun to adopt teaching methods that diverge from the typical classroom environment. Today, technology makes it possible to incorporate remote classes with in-person classes and create accessible learning for everyone.

Hybrid courses are much like they sound – a combination of in-person and remote online learning. Each university defines hybrid class slightly differently, however classes of this type generally meet between 25% and 50% of the time online and the remaining 50%-75% of the time in the classroom.

Hybrid classes aim to take the best aspects of online learning and combine them with the best aspects of traditional classes for a great learning experience. There’s a lot of flexibility and freedom that goes into hybrid learning, such as lectures on-demand but adapting to a new way of learning can be challenging. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you adjust and thrive during your hybrid learning experience.

 

Tips for Making the Most out of Your Hybrid Learning Experience

 

1. Know Your Supplies

Remote learning still requires traditional back to school supplies like paper, pens, notebooks, folders, and highlighters. You’re also going to need a camera, chargers, a mouse and mouse pad, maybe a keyboard or stylus if you’re using a tablet.

Back to school supplies for remote or hybrid learning also includes note-taking apps like Notability, Evernote, Notion, and Google Drive. But, if you’re going to commit to using an app, download it on all your devices – including your phone.

Hybrid learning models rely, of course, heavily on technology. Brush up on your knowledge of the platforms and websites and make sure you know where assignments are posted, what passwords you need to access everything, how to contact your teacher, use the online discussion forums, and know where you can find class materials.

 

2. Organize Your Document Files

When you learn remotely in a hybrid learning model, you will end up with a large number of documents for your courses. It can be easy to forget which paper was for what class, so create a naming process that helps you keep them separated.  

With remote learning, you’re going to have lots of digital documents – Google Docs, Word docs, Google Slides, etc. Digital files add up quickly, so it’s important to have a simple system for naming these documents in order to search for and find them later.

Consider dedicating separate folders in your hard drive for each course, and then name the actual files in a way that helps you find what you need when it’s time to turn it in.

 

3. Eliminate Distractions

Since you are going to be doing some of your coursework on your own, you’ll need a study space to focus on your schoolwork. If possible, make it a place that is separate from your bedroom. Now more than ever you need a space strictly for school, away from distractions. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a desk, if working at the kitchen table where snacks are on hand works better for you, then do that. Give yourself some time to figure out where you can be most productive. 

With so much of your schoolwork online, you’ve also got easy access to online distractions like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others. If you know this will be a challenge for you, check out apps with free versions like Focus Mode, Block Apps, and Be Focused. If you need to block out noise, try a study playlist, or ambient noise tool like myNoise or Noises Online

 

4. Create a Schedule

Flexibility is one of the perks of hybrid learning, but it can quickly turn into a drawback if you don’t schedule out your time. Create a schedule that incorporates the classes that you need to watch live or attend in-person, then set aside time in that schedule for homework. Once you have a schedule, print it off and hang it where you can see it to keep yourself on track each day.

With hybrid learning your schedule might be different each day, so you need to have a visible schedule where you can see exactly what time you need to log into your classes. 

 

5. Communicate with others

Make an effort to get to know people in your classes, perhaps meeting for study sessions or coffee. Having a name and phone number for a classmate also means you can get answers to your questions about an assignment when needed.

Be open with your classmates and teachers about any challenges you might have this year. Chances are others are having similar struggles, and communicating about this from the beginning will prevent misunderstandings down the road. Asking for help during online learning is important.  

If you are confused about something, email or reach out to your teacher right away. If you don’t understand one thing, and then the teacher moves onto the next thing, you’re going to end up being even more confused. 

 

6. Time Management

Time management is just as important to hybrid classes as it is with courses that are taught 100% online. You will need to set aside at least an equivalent amount of time to your face-to-face sessions to complete the online components in order to keep up and be prepared. 

Once you receive your hybrid schedule, determine how you will stay on top of assignments and materials. This might be as simple as setting up a homework to-do list on your phone, or as complex as creating separate “at home” and “at school” sets of materials.

 

7. Stay organized

Things happen. Websites glitch, electricity goes out, WiFi gets finicky, and laptops malfunction. If you stay organized and get your work done ahead of time, it will be less stressful. 

If you fall behind, the challenge of catching up could be difficult. Know where your class materials, notes, readings, assignments, and deadlines are — online or offline. This might mean a planner, a to-do list on your phone, or an app like Egenda. If you’re using a lot of online materials, bookmark the pages or list the links to everything on one document. Find what works for you and stick with it.

Remote and hybrid learning are new for a lot of us, and like any new skill, it will require practice. If you’re looking for more tips on how to succeed in your classes online and in person check out the Meratas blog!

Topics: college, remote school, Professional Development

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