To reach my classes four days out of the week as a commuter student, I first have to find a parking spot at Speck.
After an additional commute on the bus and a walk to my class, I listen and take notes on a lecture that may have all easily been taken in from home. Once class is dismissed, I end up wondering if being physically present on campus was completely necessary.
While there are times when I needed to be present in class to ask a specific question, participate in an activity or take an exam, the times when a physical presence isn't needed is time wasted.
In order for students to have a more productive lifestyle, Texas State should implement more hybrid-based courses.
Hybrid classes are a blend of in-person learning and online learning. They are beneficial, because there is still that personability of being taught face to face. That sense of personability is due to the fact that we are still seeing that professor and fellow students at least once a week in person.
Not having to travel an extra day out of the week can also save time and avoid the risk of an accident on the road. My commute from New Braunfels to San Marcos takes about 20 minutes. However, there is construction along Interstate-35, the roadway I spend the most miles on to get to San Marcos, that will last until 2023. This adds the constant threat of delays to get to class, along with the consistent possibility of an accident. In a two-week stretch alone between Aug. 17- 31, there were five accidents on I-35, with one of the accidents resulting in a fatality.
Hybrid classes also present the opportunity for students to familiarize themselves with current technology and software. Studies show one in four Americans are working remotely in 2021. Similar statistics estimate that 22% of the U.S. workforce will work remotely by 2025. Even though students may not see a future career being fully remote, 62% of employees ages 22 to 65 work remotely at least occasionally.
Additionally, the pandemic familiarized students with Zoom, which even though some have mixed feelings about, is functional.
"I think Zoom is a fantastic tool when you need it, but ideally, I prefer being in in-person classes because it's just a lot easier," Cheyanne Clagett, an English, history and Spanish senior, said.
Although I also prefer being in person, it is not always easy to be present every class due to busy schedules or any other unforeseen circumstance on a commute. Hybrid classes can be a great tool for students to learn at their own pace in the event they happen to miss a class.
It is usually with about a month of the semester left to go that I feel burnt out. With the ability to go over a lecture that may be recorded or with the materials all being online for me, this helps in learning at my own pace and to not feel overwhelmed.
Hybrid classes also present the familiarity of in-person classes, with the convenience of online as well. I do not always thrive in classes that are fully online for a variety of reasons. But one of them may be that I cannot put a face to it and may forget to check an online calendar as often as I would if I were reminded in person once a week.
I struggled in my first few online classes, because it is easier to fall behind in an online class and it was just completely new to me. I had never learned like that immediately out of high school. Hybrid classes can be great for transitioning new college students to eventually take a class that is fully online.
I have grown fonder of taking hybrid classes recently and look for hybrid classes to enroll in, but there seems to not be enough. From my experience, online and hybrid classes tend to be the ones that fill up the fastest. The high demand for hybrid classes indicates more and more students are seeking the flexibility that comes with them. Therefore, they should be accessible for more students to enroll in.
The University Star reached out to The Office of Distance and Extended Learning to comment on how many of the university's classes are hybrid and how is it decided for a class to be hybrid but we did not receive a response.
- Dillon Strine is a journalism junior.
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