Currently, I am taking three online classes. Two classes, including LIS 201, have in person lectures, but online activities, while the last is strictly online. With this experience, I would say I support the learning process of the hybrid approach to the strictly online medium. Like many of my peers have previously stated, having quizzes, lectures and discussions all online makes it incredibly easy to fall behind. I’m a very organized person so this didn’t phase me and I completed every assignment on time. My major problem with online classes is that I feel like I don’t really retain the material, I kind of strictly learn the material just to take the tests. There’s a “crisis in the ability to talk” here. I’m so fixated on getting the “right” answer and finishing my assignment than actually learning the material. Due to this, I believe the hybrid approach utilizes modern technology, but also emphasizes the importance of face-to-face discussion. The physical conversations make topics more informal because you don’t have a backspace button or a plethora of websites you can search to back up your claim. Everything stated in class was off the top of our heads and seemed more real to me. I enjoyed the online forums we created with our blogs and wikis because it offered another space for us to communicate that we could almost juxtapose against that of the physical conversation in discussion class.
A hybrid class also provides the opportunity to get to know your peers. I love the point Anjail brought up about actually knowing whom you are talking to online. In my online class, HFDS 362, I know people based on a small picture and their thoughts. I just found out the other day that a girl I had responded to for an assignment, was in a previous class with me. In a hybrid class, I would never get the feeling of ambiguity from my classmates. I enjoy talking about projects and studying for tests with my peers and on an online class it’s much more difficult to find the peers in your class.
I think the strength of this class lies in its ability to integrate the online world with that of the physical and present. If it were all online I think the student would lose a key part of what I learned in this class: public speaking and the ability to freely voice my opinion. I love talking and being at a large state school, it’s much more difficult to voice your opinion in a huge lecture hall, I never do. When I’m provided the opportunity however, like in a small discussion class like we had for LIS 201, I was able to voice my opinion and not feel embarrassed of it.
Overall, I really enjoyed how I could relate much of the information learned in this class into my life. The best part of learning is actually applying it to your life and LIS enabled me to do so.