I sometimes peruse some of my older blogs and see what an audience today might see reading it today. I may even make some changes to update it, if need be. I wrote an article a while back discussing the question: are hybrid and online classes programs the answer for students in education today or even trainees in a part online/part classroom session? I suppose today I might have come to one or two different conclusions. And, my focus was a little different then. Check them both if you have time.
In the other article I talked about the results as if, all things being equal, that the students who come from hybrid or online programs would be perceived as “educated” as those who came from a traditional program. So that is one factor we’re going to consider here, but also a few others.
And, not to be considered biased, I have to ask, were the students who came from the traditional programs up to the maturity level of those who waited to go to school later and balanced work, family and studies to get a degree? I can remember teaching at one of these proprietary schools, “night schools,” or hybrid schools and discovering students so far above the rest academically, I wanted to ask them and I confess at that phase of my early college teaching career I did ask, “Why aren’t you at such and such university.” The answer usually made sense, certainly to them, and made me feel a little foolish. I don’t ask anymore.
Everyone has their reasons. By the same token, I have seen students who wandered in and out of class, called themselves adults who didn’t have to come to class, and simply refused to do anything that wasn't absolutely necessary to do to pass or hold onto their grant. They were full of excuses. Full of themselves. Full of attitude. Even in the hybrid condensed classes, which consists of only eight classroom meetings. The students read some chapters, do some a few activities, and use some kind of thread to stay connected to each other and the professor. The students are usually required to answer specific open-ended questions twice a week. Some students easily managed to miss two classes and be dis-enrolled from the class. Most students are deserving, some just hard to get through to, which is why I teach in such an environment.
Again, as a professor myself, I discovered I had to work harder to ensure the students were pulling for themselves, propping them up, and encouraging them. The traditional schools don’t do that. Some say they do, but I don’t recall it happening at any of my schools. But I can tell you this: the students were ready to learn. Teaching at a school where students want to be there (and it’s not an afterthought or a move of desperation) you don’t have to over-perform, and you don’t have to feel badly if someone doesn’t do an assignment or misses class. I realize there are always exceptions to every generalization and that’s my point.
Not everyone at a traditional college or university is worth hiring anymore than someone who gets their degree online or non-traditionally. What is true is that the person who sits there actively listening, treating you and everyone around you respectively, and seems honestly interested in the company is someone who is worthy of being employed. If not by your company, by another.
How can I say this? I know in my classes my standards remain high and I work hard with my students to meet them. They don’t all make “A”s and “B”s, but they know where they stand and what they need to do. Sometimes the challenge is so great they all get the grades they want and deserve. I like that.
We are all so busy these days and the entire world so electronic it makes sense for schools to change with it. Libraries are loaning electronic books. Schools are assigning students books that the students can buy less expensively as an e-book. Yes, there’s an app for that. For that matter, I can’t think of any traditional college or university, state or private, that doesn't offer evening classes, condensed or hybrid or online classes. Our students are changing before our eyes. For the trainers among us the same could be said of our younger trainees; they come from a different place–it’s still Earth, but a more electronic one than we remember.
Happy Training…and Teaching.