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Tre's Take: Online vs. in-person this fall

Ohio University is offering both in-person and online classes for the fall. Faculty have also been given the option to take a hybrid approach, in which class can be split between virtual and in-person meetings. 

This is where things start to get complicated.

We should stick to one format or the other. It has been increasingly difficult to keep track of which classes on my schedule are which. It’s also confusing because these formats can change over time. Hybrid classes, in particular, are the best option to keep students and faculty the safest, while also allowing students to have a somewhat normal experience. 

It's tricky because I was expecting a full in-person experience this year. Last year was a lot to get used to and very hard to navigate. Students, especially those who don’t have access to quality internet, have a difficult time with an online format. On the contrary, online classes make it easier for sick students to keep on track. 

A hybrid class format gives students the room to breathe and faculty the chance to operate safer. The idea of online or in-person isn't as simple as you might think, especially with current circumstances. This debate can be alleviated.

With lab sections for certain classes, hybrid formats work increasing well because it allows students to have a break from giant lecture halls. This allows for students to also study from the comfort of their dorms or houses during lab periods. The same could be said about having lectures online and lab periods in person, where students can work with their peers. 

A study from the Center for Digital Education, reports that 73 percent of K-12 educators who utilize the hybrid learning model observe an increase in student engagement’’ and this is very interesting. This insinuates that many students in elementary and high school learn better with this format. This also means that students are more engaged in the material that they are learning when they can do it from home and at school.

Another study from Blackboard reveals that 59 percent of teachers report their students are more motivated to learn in a hybrid learning environment and this increased motivation is what drives students in schools. The increasing drive to learn fuels a student’s ability to be successful and happy while doing so.

Hybrid options are the best move for classes on campus because it leaves room for flexibility and gives everyone a certain option instead of the risks associated with online or in-person classes.

Flexibility should be the term of the year. Everyone needs this as we navigate yet another uncertain year in this pandemic. 

Tre Spencer is a sophomore studying photojournalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Tre know by tweeting him @trerspencer1.

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