At the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, hybrid or face-to-face classes are becoming more and more known around campus. Students are being introduced to these classes without any knowledge of what they actually are and what is incorporated with them.
Posters around campus read “Bigger is Better: Faculty Success in Redesigning Large Courses at UNC Charlotte.” The whole layout of the class seems to have been designed because of the large amounts of students enrolled at UNC Charlotte and the class sizes were just getting too big. The result of these numbers, according to the posters, led to students being confused and the faculty at school being overworked. So the school decided to try something with the new hybrid system.
The hybrid courses are designed so that students can have more face to face time with their teachers with less students in the classroom because normally its one teacher to 150 students, sometimes less. What happens is the teacher splits the class into two different classes. For example, Corrine Guidi’s Spanish 1202 class on Tuesdays and Thursdays is split into two classes. On Tuesday the first half of the class meets and on Thursdays the other half of the class meets meaning students only actually have class once a week.
It’s always nice to have that little break but normally when a class only meets once a week its for three to four hours, not an hour and fifteen minutes. The classroom grades are based off of test and online homework offered through mhcentro.com. Is meeting only once a week really a good thing?
“I think an advantage of the hybrid class is it allows us to focus on communication in the classroom. I like getting to focus on communication and speaking and giving the students the opportunity to know that when they come to class it’s their moment to break out of their shell and use the language,” Professor Guidi stated when asked how she felt about the hybrid courses she teaches. “Because at the end of the day its about knowing the language and not knowing about the language. Perhaps a disadvantage may be for students new to Spanish who have come to college after taking a different language in high school.” Guidi, a part-time teacher at UNC Charlotte who also has another full-time job, was foreign to the thought of hybrid classes until this recent year of teaching.
Spanish, along with chemistry, psychology, physics, and LBST/CHHS classes are now being offered as hybrid courses at UNC Charlotte. Classes will only meet one of the two days it was normally scheduled for meaning students will have less one on one time with their teachers. Students always seem to have different opinions on this subject though.
“Last semester I had my Spanish class Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and this was a huge change. It’s very difficult and if you don’t take advantage over the Individualized Instruction sessions that are always available then you are only hurting yourself,” stated Haley Griffin, a sophomore here at UNC Charlotte. “Since we are a bunch of college students I think it’s more productive to teach us in a classroom setting.”
The reputation of these courses are beginning to go downhill though. Some students really enjoy having class once a week while others are starting to fall behind because of it. Junior Michele Karr said, “It’s nice if you have a busy schedule and need that extra day off. On the other hand though, you have to put in a lot of work outside of class. So if you’re not good at studying independently, it could be difficult.”
Hybrid classes are becoming more and more popular with teachers and as long as the numbers match up and students are actually passing there should be no worries on whether or not to keep up with them. Spanish doesn’t seem like the easiest class to embark on only once a week but who knows. Maybe only having class once a week will make students work even harder to earn that A.