The Pros and Cons of Hybrid Learning

This year at AGS, many are participating in the hybrid learning model, a system where students attend virtual classes for half of the week and in-person classes for the other half.

So, what are the model’s benefits? What are its disadvantages? Here is a list of some of hybrid learning’s pros and cons:

PROS

Hybrid learning allows for in-person interaction.

As most people would agree, virtual learning removes many of the fun aspects of school and limits students’ ability to collaborate. Having the opportunity to speak face to face with another person supports a more fulfilling learning experience.

When compared with 4-day on-campus learning, hybrid learning reduces a student’s chance of exposure to COVID-19.

By giving students the option of not attending class in-person 4 days a week, the hybrid learning schedule shortens the amount of time they are in contact with others, and therefore limits their risk of contracting the virus.

The hybrid model typically reduces stress.

By giving people a break from driving to school, the hybrid learning schedule helps alleviate the stress that comes from getting up and getting ready to be in-person. And for some, decreasing the amount of time on campus takes away from covid-related stress. For others, getting out of the house and having the chance to connect with others after a period of virtual learning gives them a sense of comfort. The general consensus is that the hybrid model is a happy medium where students have less to worry about.

Hybrid learning creates a sense of normalcy.

The pandemic has changed student’s lives in so many unexpected and chaotic ways. Having a schedule that is more typical of past years as opposed to the all-virtual model, restores some aspects of a student’s education and promotes greater learning in an environment that they are used to.

CONS

Hybrid learning puts all-virtual students at a disadvantage.

While hybrid learning helps the students who are able to attend class on-campus, it puts virtual ones at a significant disadvantage. People who aren’t in a position to risk their health are subjected to an unequal learning experience. Virtual students face many challenges like learning over a computer, particularly when the video or audio is choppy, or fading into the background of a class and losing opportunities to participate. Additionally, there are negative emotional impacts that come with a person seeing their friends and classmates interact while sitting in isolation.

When compared with virtual learning, hybrid learning significantly increases a student’s chance of exposure to COVID-19.

Everyday when people attend classes, they cannot guarantee that they aren’t exposed to COVID-19. The effects of the virus on any given person are unpredictable. Risking exposure means an in-person learner is risking their and their family’s health and wellbeing. This can also create a lingering fear of contracting or spreading the virus in some cases, which can be distracting.

You don’t get to wear pajamas.

Now, all students are supposed to be in AGS attire even when they are virtual. But, being at school still means that the comforts of home are lost.

Other schools in the Atlanta area have taken different approaches to reintroducing students on campus. At Galloway, students currently must commit to either an all virtual or all in-person schedule. The administration also has a hybrid model ready for when cases surge as well as plans for distance learning. Grady took this approach as well but had to close within weeks of reopening. Other schools across the country opened with minimal safety protocols and had to return to all-virtual learning as the virus was spread throughout their student body, faculty, and staff.

The hybrid learning model at AGS seems to be working fairly well. But, we can only continue in-person classes if students continue to be vigilant about social distancing, keep their bubbles small, and isolate when possible. Let’s keep up the good work as we go into the next semester!