Should UHart Still Offer a Hybrid Learning Environment?

Haley Wright, Staff Writer

Covid mandates are becoming less strict on
campus, masks are no longer mandated in classrooms
and performance spaces, guests are allowed on
campus, and we can allow others into our dorm rooms.
This is definitely an improvement and it is exciting to come closer to pre-Covid normalcy. However, Covid has made some beneficial changes to the classroom setting, such as offering courses in a hybrid format. Now that Covid mandates are lifting, this hybrid option is rarely available, which is very unfortunate.
Having a hybrid option in classes is extremely helpful. If a student is not feeling well, whether from Covid, another illness, or just not feeling well, they can still attend class online and won’t have to worry about falling behind. With the hybrid option gone, it becomes stressful to ensure that students who are feeling ill are caught up on notes and assignments when they miss a class.
While having the option to attend classes online is helpful, there is a drawback of students abusing this opportunity. There have been many instances of students attending class online because they do not want to attend class, but still want an attendance grade. I have witnessed many students attend a hybrid class online and fall asleep or walk away from their computer while the professor is giving a lecture. However, there are ways to work around this. One option being that students online must participate in class discussions, whether it be speaking or typing in a text box. Another option is to have the student turn on their camera.
In addition, having an online option allows professors to record the class lecture. So, if there’s a student who cannot attend class, whether due to illness or another conflict, they can still access class notes and lectures. It is also useful for students who attended class since they can look back at the lecture to find information they may have missed.

Having hybrid classes helped me significantly last semester. I was able to attend classes when I was feeling ill and was able to go home for a family emergency. Having lectures recorded helped me when reviewing for exams and research papers. While it is wonderful that campus life is going back to pre-Covid times, some adaptations made for Covid were extremely helpful for learning and should still be implemented.