The world of digitalization has come far due to the pandemic and has brought a lot of change in a lot of fields, especially in education. As per the latest mandate by UGC, students are allowed to pursue two full-time degree courses at a time. This comes up as an opportunity for the institutes to serve a larger number of students.
Considering the changing scenario, it is the best time for institutes to opt-in for technology that enables them to conduct courses in the hybrid mode. The hybrid learning system not only allows a student to freely choose their field of interest but also gives them the complete benefit of learning at their own pace. Here’s all you need to know about hybrid degrees.
What is hybrid degree/learning?
Hybrid degrees have been introduced in many educational institutions.
A Hybrid Degree provides new types of degree programs for almost all fields of studies while featuring and introducing online classes and a few traditional courses with them in order to appeal to students who do not want to move away from their families and towns.
A Hybrid Degree offers almost all the degrees that a student may further want to study.
The name Hybrid signifies the combination of two different classes that you can take up. The first is the online classes and then there are the traditional courses. All these courses require the teachers to provide the students with proper study material through different portals like Google Classroom with each subject having a different section so the students can efficiently stay up to date.
It would require the teachers to conduct online classes accordingly in order for the students to be able to attend and virtually participate in the classes flexibly while also pursuing another degree traditionally.
The teachers can make the class more interactive by various methods like short quizzes or virtual notice boards and make them interesting by using infotainment audio and videos to teach online.
A student can access the classes no matter whether they are in a cafe or in the comfort of their house or when they are just in need of a break. These programs provide the students with resources and make it easier for the students and the faculties to pursue and conduct these courses flexibly and at their own pace.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has granted permission for Hybrid online classes for students and has asked universities to make statutory changes in the educational structure in order to appeal to the students for taking up two academic degrees in physical mode at the same time.
UGC in a statement said, “All the Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) were requested to devise mechanisms through its statutory bodies for allowing students to pursue two academic programs simultaneously. It is once again requested that in the larger interest of the students, implementation of the said scheme may kindly be ensured and expedited, if not done so far,”
UGC thereby has approved students applying and pursuing two full-time degrees simultaneously in a structure with class timings for both will not clash and students can not only tackle two degrees at once but also take up one degree as an online form and the other as regular campus classes.
This development has been marked as a significant change in educational functioning as now students can pursue two degrees without any sort of barriers.
Talking about the policy UGC said, “The issue of allowing the students to pursue two academic programs simultaneously has been examined by the Commission keeping in view the proposals envisaged in the National Education Policy – NEP 2020 which emphasizes the need to facilitate multiple pathways to learning involving both formal and non-formal education modes.”
The Benefits of a Hybrid Degree
We are done with exactly what Hybrid Degree is but what are the benefits that it gives you? You may wonder what you may get from these courses.
One of the biggest benefits is that because of the introduction of hybrid degrees the number of learners will be double that. This benefits the institute monetarily and also helps in its progress of the institute.
It will also establish the growth of the institute as it continues to cater to all the students and provide flexibility in order to pursue a hybrid degree. Matching up with the regulations put out can help an institute to only progress forward.
It also makes the job of the teachers easier as they can take classes for the students flexibly and it becomes easier for them to interact and connect with students. It can be less tedious when it comes to conducting lectures online for students with a hybrid degree.
Let’s understand a little more about hybrid degrees
With a hybrid format, the institute can get more students who find it flexible to pursue an online degree, and makes it easier to connect the students with the teachers in classes.
Even though the classes provided in a hybrid degree are flexible that does not mean that you can log in and finish tasks whenever you want to. To find out if your course is synchronous or asynchronous, check the settings.
This will vary by intuition, but typically a hybrid course allows students to take some, if not most of their classes online. This format allows a student to take advantage of the convenience of learning online while benefiting from the practical hands-on learning of on-campus classrooms.
But not all hybrid degrees are completely flexible to let you work at your own pace. An institute may or may not decide the leniency of these hybrid degrees in the matter of flexibility.
Check to see whether your course is Synchronous or Asynchronous.
- Synchronous: First is the Synchronous type of online learning. In this, the teacher may need to use various mediums and applications in order to make sure that students are virtually participating as a mandatory practice. Though these are online classes, there is very little flexibility given to the students but students who may want a collaborative learning experience may opt for these courses.
- Asynchronous: Asynchronous courses do not follow a set schedule, so they allow students to complete the coursework at their own pace. Students with unconventional schedules or family and work obligations may benefit from self-paced learning.
The technology needed for the Hybrid Classes
Often conversations and communication, in general, get too difficult whether it is in-person classes or online classes which can soon become a barrier to efficiently learning from these classes.
Therefore some materials and technology can help teachers engage and interact directly with the students and give the students equal attention. Whether it is to take quizzes or to interact for a discussion.
And for these situations, there are technologies that can help. Following are some of the common technologies that are used around universities to conduct better-quality online classes for students.
Technology can turn out to be a boon to enable institutes to conduct hybrid degrees efficiently, here are the top technologies that can assist you in this process-
Classrooms can now be transformed into smart spaces with gadgets and screens which optimize the learning experience by adding visualization elements. When a class is not set up appropriately in a way for the hybrid class it can cause an issue for the students and the professors to understand each other and communicate.
Also if the visual and audio of the class and the teacher is not good quality it can completely disrupt the class and it may fail with the efficiency of visual learning and engraving it into online classes.
In this case, what can be done is that the students in the class physically and the professor can make sure they can see the students in the class which will in turn help the teacher give attention to all the students and make it easier to teach all of them together.
For example, having students who are pursuing that degree online be in the front of the lecture virtually and all the other students sitting in the classroom behind them. This way the faculties can give equal attention to all the students virtually and in person and interact with them easily.
Microphones and Audio Products
Microphones and being audible for both the students in the class and online, a professor must switch to using microphones in order to be clearly audible to everyone. Sometimes the network can cause people talking without a microphone to be completely inaudible therefore if a professor carries a pocket microphone that can be easily detached and attached to the ears with the mic right in front of their mouth it will enhance the audio for all the students and help maintain attention and focus in class.
Collaborative software is software that provides the student’s resources by the teachers and therefore gets in touch with the material that they may need in order to study and get assignments done. Some of these applications that are easy to use and guide students through are Canva, Google Classroom, and Zoom.
They can be used in order to stay connected with the students and for particular assignments which may not be easy to get done manually and submit and have a regular update of the students and their work.
In Class Displays
In-class displays like whiteboards with projectors or combination boards which the utilization of a 2-in-1 chalkboard and a whiteboard that connects to a projector is efficient in order to make the class more interactive. This helps the teacher to give out notes and also show them interactive audios and videos which may help in visual learning of the subject.
Here is a complete guide for understanding Hybrid Degrees and the usefulness of accommodating dual degrees to the students and some of the technologies and digitalization that have made it easier for teachers to achieve efficient teaching in online classes without a chaotic schedule and easy access to the work done by the students.
Hybrid classes are a very good opportunity to progress as an institute and to be able to cater to students who find online classes a more flexible way of learning. This may be the next step in the growth of the institute and upgrading as a whole.
Online Admission Systems
Students don’t need to visit or travel to a college located in a different city, they can look for admission right from the convenience of their home, this makes it more acceptable for students to take admission to an institute other than the one that they are studying.
Learning Management System
The academic content can be efficiently and securely delivered to the students enrolled in the course, the advanced learning management systems come with features that promote self-paced learning, periodic content delivery, and controlled access to academic content making it best fit to deliver hybrid, self-paced learning courses.
Online Proctored Assessments
Online assessments are one of the core necessities to conduct hybrid learning courses. The students do not need to visit the college for attempting the examinations and they can be provided with time flexibility for attempting exams without compromising on the reliability of the exams.
The students will prefer to get admission in institutes that provide access to digital libraries because if they will get access to digital libraries, they won’t need to visit the college where they are learning the second course, the availability of digital libraries synergizes the hybrid courses.
OnScreen Marking Solution
As the volume of admission will increase, it will become hard to manually compile the marks for result generation, and it will be hard to manage large volumes of answer sheets during paper checking, and the digital evaluation system can help. These systems allow evaluators to correct the answer sheets using the digital interface, the result compilation with the digital answer sheet evaluation system is much easier, more accurate, and more efficient.
This is undoubtedly the best time to adopt technology, spending on technology is not a cost but an investment. From all perspectives, technology can enable institutes to deliver better, may it be content delivery or assessments. Digital infrastructure is the biggest asset institutes can have, adopting the technologies like LMS, Online assessments, and online admission systems can really help.