Online, Traditional, or Hybrid Classes: Which are best for students?

Ceilidh Adams
Opinion Editor

“Join today! Go to school in your pajamas.” We’ve all seen the commercials–colleges advertising online classes, showing the benefits of an educational setting that is outside of the traditional classroom.

But are online classes really better than traditional classes? What about Hybrid classes, where the online world and the traditional classroom mix?

For me, education is all about adaptability. Every student in a classroom learns a different way.

Personally, I am two things: I am an Auditory Learner, and I am very old-fashioned and traditional in my views. As someone who is striving to become an educator, I believe strongly in the old-fashioned traditional classroom concept.

However, we live in a world where technology surrounds us; where traditional textbooks are being replaced by E-books, where homework and lectures are online, and where, even in the traditional classroom, technology is helping us learn more as students.

If you are someone who feels bored or even perhaps distracted in a traditional classroom, an online class might be something for you. In online classes, discussions or forums are used more often to discuss ideas and concepts, while videos serve as lectures and interactive tools that can help students learn more.

On the other hand, If you need to be able to listen to someone talk about a subject first hand, the traditional classroom is where you should stay. Personally, I also find the online world very distracting–I learn best with a real-life teacher standing in a classroom, lecturing or discussing a topic.

Lastly, if you feel as though you need both the comforts of the online world and the sense of tradition from the ordinary classroom, hybrid classes might be best suited for you. Hybrid classes are 75% online, but meet about once a month in a traditional classroom setting.

As someone who has taken all three types of classes, one of the things that I found most daunting about the online classroom is that time management is more individualized in this setting. Because I am not meeting in a classroom, I feel as though I have to manage my time doing assignments more, and perhaps remembering when assignments are due can be more of a challenge as well.

However, this time management can be a positive aspect of an online class if you are someone who does well with managing your time.

Whether you are completing an assignment in your pajamas online, sitting in a traditional classroom taking notes from a lecture, or perhaps even balancing these two worlds in a hybrid setting, choosing what type of class that best suits you will depend on your needs and which way you learn new concepts best.

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