New 'hybrid' approach at Perham High School
"Hybrid" classes will be offered this fall at Perham High School.
Hybrid courses, blended classroom offerings, are courses in which a significant portion of the learning activities have been moved online, and time traditionally spent in the classroom is reduced-but not eliminated, explained John Rutten, high school principal.
The goal of hybrid courses is to join the best features of in-class teaching with the best features of online learning to promote active independent learning and reduce class seat time. Using computer-based technologies, instructors use the hybrid model to redesign some lecture or lab content into new online learning activities, such as case studies, tutorials, self-testing exercises, simulations, and online group collaborations.
"As a school we have been studying this for some time," commented Principal Rutten. "We believe that implementing hybrid classes mirrors where education is heading and the evidence supporting hybrids is very positive. We also believe that students still need a 'high touch face to face relationship' with their instructors along with the high tech tools to succeed. Hybrids allow for that. This is not for every student, but we need to expand the opportunities for students who are ready."
For example, hybrid class A meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday face to face, in a classroom setting. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they meet online. Students can either work from home or come into school and work in our labs.
Teachers will be scheduled in their classrooms as they always have and be available for students."
Perham High School will allow only first and fifth hour classes to become hybrids and only 11th and 12th graders will have the privilege to sign up for them.
Not all courses are ready, but for those that are, PHS staff are confident they can provide a high quality experience.
As students sign up for courses in the next few weeks, they will come home with information about the courses and qualities needed to be a successful candidate for this learning environment. Parents are asked to look over the material and call PHS counselor Jan Turgeon, or John Rutten, with questions.
What is a hybrid course?
Hybrid courses offer a number of advantages over face-to-face teaching and totally online courses.
Instructors reported that the hybrid course model allows them to accomplish course learning objectives more successfully than traditional courses do. Most faculty noted increased interaction and contact among their students and between the students and themselves.
A communications professor teaching a large enrollment class states unequivocally, "The amount of student to faculty contact is going to increase in the hybrid format. Students are more engaged in learning activities and therefore will seek out more assistance."