Sitting in a classroom day in and day out is not for everyone, especially non-traditional students going back to school or military personnel returning back to the states and reentering civilian life.

In the hybrid setting, students attend class in person once a week and complete the rest of the coursework online. ICC has offered hybrid classes for many years, but it is offering evening hybrid courses this year for working people and veterans, among others. There will be one 16-week hybrid, and for those who want to finish a course quickly, eight-week courses are also offered.

Hybrid classes have different parameters than traditional learning, said Professor of English Marsha Watson, Ph.D. 

“Hybrid is a pretty wide open term — there is no strict definition,” said Watson. She said there are varying models. Educators construct their own class. It is a hybrid as long as it is 25 percent to 75 percent online. The hybrid courses can be good for anyone, she said.

“Your basic, just out of high school type of student, they need a lot of structure, because they’ve never studied independently,” said Watson. “It takes a while to get disciplined enough to do well on a fully online course.

“Fully online is really good for working adults — it’s a flexible model, they have the ability to study in whatever time is available to them, they’re not tied to a particular class at a particular time. But everybody needs social context, like a class. It’s part of our learning. Deep learning is achieved when you have to articulate your learning in language through writing or presenting orally or discussing it.”

Students age 18 to 22 year olds who have a deeper need for social context get that through the actually face-to-face contact at the class once a week, said Watson.

The hybrid model, said Watson, is the best way to have the “best of both types of education.”

“I think most education is now kind of hybrid,” said Watson. “I don’t know about all faculty members, but it’s hard for me to imagine even running a face to face class without a good 20 percent being online.

“Put the materials online, have people submit their homework online — it’s just part of the world we live in now.”

The benefits of the hybrid model extend to veterans.

“As a veteran myself, eight years in the U.S. Navy, the accelerated and hybrid delivery systems that are adaptable to working adults are also some of the best things to offer returning veterans who are seeking to integrate into the community,” said Watson. “And I am just so committed to helping them.

“The military — they look at what the most efficient and quickest way to learn is. I remember way back when I was in the Navy, computer assisted learning I think we called it at the time — what could be called hybrid — that’s how I learned all my (training). I was an aviation electronics technician. We did a lot of self-paced computer work. We did lab work face to face. It was one of the first hybrid models.”

The ICC application is online at icc.edu/apply. For complete details on program requirements and course offerings, including class schedules, visit the ICC Evening College webpage at icc.edu/evening-college/.

Follow Sharon Woods Harris at Twitter.com/sharrispekin