What is a hybrid course?
“Hybrid” or “blended” are names commonly used to describe courses that combine face-to-face classroom instruction with online learning. A significant portion of the learning activities take place online and time spent on instruction that traditionally occurs in the classroom is reduced but not eliminated. This allows the student much more flexible scheduling, while maintaining the face-to-face contact with the instructor and classmates that is typical of a more traditional course.

What should I expect in a hybrid course?

Courses that have been identified as “hybrid” in the schedule of classes are a combination of face-to-face classroom instruction and online learning via the Internet. As a student, you can expect that a portion of your instruction and assignments will be partly presented in a traditional classroom and partly provided online. The division of online and classroom instruction for each hybrid course will vary depending on the course content and the instructor preference. In addition, some of the required class work will take place online.

Your instructor will provide details regarding what class work will be required in class and what work will be required when online. Online course materials and learning activities vary from class to class. However, typical Web-based activities include online discussions, small group work, games, simulations, self-testing exercises, audio- or video-lectures, and tutorials.

While students can generally choose when and where to complete online assignments, there are usually specific deadlines for online discussions, assignments and exams. In addition, students have set days and times for on-campus classes. By learning in both online and face-to-face environments, you can expect to interact with the course content, the instructor, and the students in a variety of ways.

Are hybrid courses designed for specific students?
Hybrid courses are designed for students who:

  • are interested in active and participatory learning, both in the classroom and online.
  • are busy with work or family and want to replace some travel and on-campus time with online study.
  • wish to retain the value of personal contact with the instructor and other students, instead of undertaking a solely distance education experience.
  • Who can take a hybrid class at UWM?
    Anyone who has been admitted to the University and has met the individual prerequisites for that particular class can enroll in a hybrid course.

    What are the benefits for students to take a hybrid course?
    The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Learning Technology Center and other universities have asked students what they thought about hybrid courses. Students overwhelmingly have reported that they prefer and enjoy the hybrid course format. More specifically, here are the main reasons that students prefer hybrid:

  • Students have greater time flexibility, freedom, and convenience by working part of the time online from home due to decreased commuting and parking hassles.
  • Students are likely to interact more with the instructor and fellow students since there are numerous opportunities to do so both in class and online.
  • Students have access to unlimited up-to-date resources available via the Web.
  • Students often develop or enhance skills in time management, critical thinking, and problem solving.
  • Students enjoy increased success as measured by fewer course withdrawals and somewhat higher grades.
  • Students can participate more in class discussions since they can choose environment — online or face-to-face — in which they feel more comfortable.
  • Students have more time to reflect and refer to relevant course and other research materials when working and writing online than when responding in class.
  • Students typically have 24/7 access to online course materials.
  • Students usually receive more feedback, and more frequent feedback, from their instructors.
  • Students can acquire useful skills from using the Internet and computer technology.
  • Will I be working on my own?
    You will work both independently and with others, as you interact in both the traditional and “virtual classroom.” You will be working closely with the instructor and the students in your class, just as you would in a traditional classroom. In addition, you will also learn to work online, both independently and with others. Depending upon the course, you may interact in an electronic classroom and learn skills such as participation in the class through online discussions or forums, collaborations through group work, and working and taking responsibility in a team for class projects. You will not be entirely on your own, but you will need to learn good organizational and time-management skills to be successful as a hybrid student.

    Will hybrid course credits apply towards my degree/certification just like a traditional course?
    Yes, hybrid course credits can be applied as credit towards your degree/certification just as a traditional course. Your transcripts will not reflect any differences for taking the hybrid courses, but you will gain computer literacy skills that will be valuable in other coursework and in your workplace.

    What are the technical requirements to take a hybrid course?
    You will need to own or have access to a recent computer system. You will also need to have access to the Internet through a broadband subscription to cable modem or DSL service. You should know or learn how to use an e-mail program such as PantherMail, Microsoft Outlook, Hotmail, etc. All UWM students are assigned a free ePanther email account. Your ePanther account provides you with a UWM email address and disk space to manage your email. This account also allows you to set up a personal Web page and access the UWM Library catalog. Your ePanther login also gives you access to PantherFile, which allows you to save files on a server that is easily accessed through a web browser, on or off campus. For more information on all of the technology available to students, check out the Campus Technology New Student Checklist

    You can also order standard software packages such as Microsoft Office at very substantial student discounts, available through the State of Wisconsin software catalog.

    You should download a standard free Web browser such as the latest version of Internet Explorer, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and McAfee virus protection software.

    It is also recommended that you download the other free software utilities that are available through the University.

    Are Hybrid Courses for You?