Traditional Online or Hybrid | That is the question

IUS Horizon

Whether it is to complete a degree, start a degree or obtain a job promotion; students are seeking any and all paths to earn a college degree, and online classes are becoming a popular venue to do so.

“One-third of all students in higher education are taking at least one online course,” and sixty-five percent of higher education institutions now incorporate online learning into their offerings, according to a 2011 study conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board.

That is why IU Southeast is expanding its online degree programs for the 2013-2014 school year.

“We have a limited number of online classes at this time,” Assistant Registrar Mary Beth Nanz said. “There is a plan this year to offer more online classes. These classes are available in the fall, and students can find these classes on our website.”

IU Southeast offers hybrid courses as well, Nanz said.

“Hybrid courses are where the student will meet in class according to the professor’s requirements along with completing online assignments,” Nanz said.

Most of the classes that are now being offered are computer science and some nursing classes; labor studies have always been online, Nanz said.

A few other classes that are available to take online are word processing, intro to computers, spreadsheet applications, math excursions, college algebra and topics in psychology according to the IUS website.

“Once IU as a whole gets the online program they are working on completed, there will be a greater selection to choose from,” Nanz said.

If a student wanted to go to another IU campus, then the student would need to fill out an online form, Nanz said. This is called becoming a “visiting student” and is only required one-time.

Robin Morgan, psychology professor, interim co-director of Institute for Learning and Teaching Excellence (ILTE), and the university director of Faculty Colloquium of Excellence in Teaching (FACET), said they help faculty use techniques that are proven to be helpful to teach the students for online learning.

“We know that some teaching methods work better to help students learn,” Morgan said. “Online students will benefit with high quality teachers.”

ILTE has been offering courses for teachers and in the past has had 8- to 10- faculty members sign up, Morgan said.

“This year we have had 43- to 45- faculties involved in the training that we provide,” Morgan said. “Some faculty will try it and won’t like it, but other faculty will love it.”

Morgan said she thinks there will be a balance— maybe more hybrids that require students to attend both in class and online.

“That’s why training is so important,” Morgan said. “We want to provide high quality learning to our online students.”