Hybrid classes become the new norm for Cedar Crest College
Canvas and Teams provided many of the students and professors with the proper assistance needed in order to succeed this semester with the new hybrid format
Photo by Kelsey Stevens
A hybrid class system was initiated at Cedar Crest College this fall semester in order to accommodate the safety and academic needs of the faculty and students during the pandemic.
Hybrid classes consist of combined in-person instruction and online classes. Students and staff were able to conduct classes via Microsoft Teams and Canvas. The format allows flexibility for the school’s population schedule. This type of learning system introduced this semester affected both teachers and students, and received varying reviews.
“My chemistry class is a hybrid class; we watch our lectures before class and our time in class is spent as recitation,” Bailey Miller, Class of 2024 Nursing Major explained. “I feel I am doing pretty well; it’s been pretty easy to adapt a little bit since it is becoming the new normal.”
The structure for the hybrid format is set up to limit a certain number of students in a room at a time. General educations courses, such as chemistry, typically have a larger population of students, which causes the class to be split up to accommodate social distancing regulations. When students from the course are split into sections or groups, the groups either attend different days or a portion of the scheduled time (for instance, the first half of the class or the last half).
“The most complex course I teach is BIO 123 Foundations of Biology lecture,” Dr. Amy Faivre, who is the Environmental Conservation Advisor and a Biology professor here at Cedar Crest College explains. “Students who chose to come in-person would have one day a week they would attend BIO 123 lecture, another day they would attend BIO 123 recitation and another day to attend CHE 111 lecture to try to give students as much contact with instructors as possible, in person.”
From the perspective of a professor, there is much more to the process than just conducting a class online and in-person. There is a lack of interaction, which is essential for both the students (so they can have a better learning experience) and professors (in order to get to know their students more). Faivre expressed the troubles with presenting power point notes and the absence of handouts.
“Because I can no longer easily write material on the board, I have to be super organized in all of my powerpoint slides to make sure I can say everything through that medium,” Faivre explained. “I miss being able to do more spontaneous things - like seeing an article a few hours before class, photocopying it to handout, read and discuss.”
There are many obstacles that students and professors face in order to follow the hybrid format. However, this form of education has gained new perspectives on learning and teaching as Cedar Crest continues to create a safe environment.