I admit I was not excited for hybrid learning when Juniata had announced its Fall 2020 semester plans. Online classes at the end of last semester and over the summer were not my jam. I found it hard to focus and keep myself on track.
As we enter into the third week of classes, I think I’m finally getting into the groove of hybrid classes. The collaboration between Juniata’s faculty, staff, and students has made this transition a little bit easier. We’ve definitely hit many bumps in the road, and I don’t doubt that there are still many more to come, but I have found five reasons that I have come to enjoy hybrid learning.
#1 Excuse to Buy Cute Pajamas
Y’all know I’m waking up at 8:55 for my 9am class, and I am going to be serving looks. I love any reason to buy new PJs and Zoom class is the perfect excuse.
#2 The Zoom Chat
I actually really like the chat feature on Zoom! It’s a great feature especially for Juniata’s more discussion-based classes. Having the ability to share real time links to articles and contribute to conversations without talking over each other or putting a tangent in the chat vs. getting off topic in discussion is so helpful. It makes the class as a whole, a lot more accessible. I can put my question in the chat versus interrupting my professor or forgetting it by the time it’s appropriate for a question to be asked. 9/10 Great job, Zoom!
#3 My Roommate’s Cat Receives the Validation He Deserves
Dante is a 2-year-old orange tabby who needs constant attention. His daily appearances in my Zoom classes are probably the highlight of his day. He’ll do his best to lay across my keyboard and slide on my mouse pad, so he gets to hear the coos and cat calls of my classmates. I have yet to have a Zoom class where he hasn’t made an appearance.
#4 Opportunity for More Guest Speakers
The inclusion of Zoom in daily classes and for extra-curricular events has normalized having Zoom speaking events. We were in week three of classes and I’ve already had four guest speakers Zoom in from all over the U.S. One of these Zoom speakers from my Professional Editing class has already given me lots to think about as I start applying for jobs for after graduation.
#5 Recorded Classes
All of my professors record our Zoom classes and post them to our class Moodle page the same day. If I miss something in my notes or I want to go back and listen to a lecture before a quiz or a test, I can just go back and listen to the full class including all the discussions and questions. It’s the best study tool I’ve ever used.
I hope I find more reasons to enjoy hybrid classes. I don’t think I’ll ever prefer the hybrid structure to the full in-person class experience, but it’s a close second. Honestly, I’m just thankful to be on campus for my last semester of college.