The coronavirus pandemic brought significant challenges for the universities and other higher education communities around the globe. Technology has played its crucial part in such a transforming situation to help accommodate the needs of students. However, most of the students are more inclined towards choosing in-person learning.
University Students are not Happy About Online Learning
A new study from IDP Connect sheds light upon the students’ preferences for in-person classes. According to the study, international students are eager for offline classes to resume and are willing to change destinations to get face-to-face teaching. Around 56% said that they were likely to switch destinations and almost one-third (32%) of them said they were “highly likely” to do so. The study indicates that around half of the students were unhappy with the shift to online learning in the light of a global pandemic.
Students Finding In-Person Learning More Engaging
For students, classes through online mediums were never equivalent to in-person teaching on campus with friends. An interaction gap among students led them to feel more “isolated” and “alienated”. 16% of the students mentioned mental health problems as a negative outcome of online learning. Also, 15% of them said their home environments have negatively affected their studies. Especially, the students from regional and rural universities lost quiet study spaces they used to have during in-person classes. Additionally, many students from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds did not wish to have online classes as they were uncomfortable by staying in their homes all the time and having the presence of family members during their team meetings.
How a Hybrid Model is Working Well?
Higher education institutions are exploring safe learning ways for students while also incorporating face-to-face mode of instruction. In this sense, hybrid learning is absolutely necessary for universities to opt for to get successful in the long run.
Both hybrid learning and blended learning are used interchangeably. But to point out some subtle differences. Hybrid learning focuses on incorporating any possible learning techniques to best teach the content, be it online or offline. On the other hand, blended learning entirely focuses on incorporating online learning with traditional classes. Either way, the goal is to meet the effective learning needs of students while staying safe.
This fall, the Institute of International Education (IIE) conducted a survey among US colleges and universities. The report shows almost 9 out of 10 US higher education institutions are planning to offer hybrid models for facilitating education.
It seems like the academic year 2021 will be a mix of online and in-person sessions. Whatever be the learning process, it shouldn’t affect the students’ learning experiences and outcomes. With the right people, processes, and technology, hybrid and blended learning can be a positive step forward for higher education.