Students who battle daily for parking spaces can alleviate some of that stress by taking hybrid classes.

A hybrid class is another form of online learning, which allows students to participate in classroom studies once a week. The average class period ranges from 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

“Hybrid classes take the best of face-to-face courses and the best of online courses, and blend them together,” said M’Liss Hindman, an instructor of a hybrid class for speech/theatre.

Some of the hybrid classes were established at TJC in the spring of 2007, including Child Development, Accounting, Sociology 1301, General Psychology and BCIS.

“Currently, this fall we have 30 hybrid courses, 40 sections (meaning that some students attend more than one class a day or week) and 894 students here on TJC campus,” said VCT Coordinator Gay Howard.

Hybrid classes allow TJC to schedule more classes with fewer students. This eliminates the commute of students traveling to campus, which means more parking spaces and less populated classrooms. For many of the students the flexibility makes for a better schedule.

Students must have self-discipline and the ability to stay organized to accomplish their studies on time in hybrid courses.

Even though students spend one day in class, it still allows them the opportunities to get help for online assignments or anything they didn’t understand from the previous lectures.

This gives the student and teacher a chance to communicate more effectively rather than online only through e-mail. Sometimes that one meeting face-to-face out of the week motivates a student to focus and excel more outside the classroom.

Hybrid classes are also recommended for first-year online educators.

“It’s a time saver because you only go to class for an hour, and the teachers help you with your problems you couldn’t solve by yourself at home,” said Danielle Long, a hybrid class student.

There are two types of hybrid classes at TJC, called E/Online classes and lecture/labs. Lecture/labs are a one-day class session and lab class combined where students go over lectures in class face to face. An E/Online class is a one day class where there isn’t an in-class session, but students are required to complete assignments outside of school.

“In the future, hybrid classes are predicted to increase with the growth of technology. In the spring of 2010, TJC is starting a new program, where each individual student spends one third of his or her time in the classroom face to face with the instructor, and two thirds off campus online,” said Gay Howard, TJC’s Virtual College of Texas coordinator.

For more information about hybrid classes, contact Ken Craver, the director of distance education, at 903-510-2591.

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