written by: Noreen Gunnell•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 6/29/2011
A hybrid history class allows students to take the college classroom into their living rooms, kitchens, local coffeehouses or anywhere they can get an Internet connection while maintaining the face-to-face contact associated with traditional history courses.
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Learning History in a Different Light
Understanding history is more than the mere memorization of facts and dates. It is the individual analysis of those facts along with insight into how events have been interpreted by historians and developed into a collective memory. This degree of personal synthesis requires the use of many different types of sources, a significant amount of reading, and various methods of examining and evaluating information. Assessment of learning should vary as well and students should expect to have their performance measured in a variety of ways. A hybrid history college course is an excellent format for providing students the opportunity to access a wide range of sources from primary documents to academic essays and personal blogs. These types of courses also allow time for individual study along with group discussions, and a myriad of assessment methods.
A history class in this format can involve a lengthy, weekly on-campus class meeting complimented by several hours of online assignments, discussions, and additional reading. Analytical essays, blogging, and response papers are frequent requirements. Some instructors will assign separate books for the traditional and hybrid sections of the course. Videos, podcasts, and online meetings are often part of the required coursework and involve thoughtful examination and analysis. Group and whole class discussions during campus and online class meetings will help students to understand and critique the material, but thorough preparation is essential to benefiting from these exchanges.
Students should be prepared to work hard both in and out of the classroom. Good writing skills are vital and, in many cases, an English or a writing course is prerequisite. Work that is expected to be completed in the hybrid portions of the class are usually submitted electronically and students are expected to meet all deadlines. Time in the classroom is equally important and students should expect to participate fully and responsibly in class discussions and any group work.
Students will be graded on written work and both online and on-campus participation. Being comfortable with using the Internet is vital to a college student's success in any hybrid history course as it will be the source of a variety of primary and secondary historical sources, and a portal for the dissection and analysis of class materials.
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What To Expect As A Student
As with all courses, the demands of a hybrid history college course can vary from school to school and professor to professor. However, prospective students can expect some common aspects. This syllabus from a Western Europe History hybrid demonstrates the use of technology and social networking to communicate with students and hold virtual discussions. Separate attendance policies and requirements for each portion of the class are also listed. Similarly, this African American History syllabus outlines the various computer skills students should possess, class management software that will be utilized, and assessment criteria.
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Finding A Course or Program
Scan almost any community college's course catalog and you will find examples of history hybrids. Offerings vary from common core requirements such as US History to 1877, to the more specific such as Northern Virginia Community College's consistent offering of Music History I and II. While community colleges are the most prolific suppliers of history courses in the hybrid format, they are also offered by public and private universities. Surprisingly, the large online schools such as the University of Phoenix, Kaplan, and Ashford do not offer hybrid history programs.  The University of Phoenix and Ashford do offer online history courses and, depending on your location, UOP may have a local campus with complimentary class meetings. However, your best bet for finding a hybrid history course or program is your local community college or nearby university. You can begin your search at EDU Degree Directory which allows you to search by category (online, campus, or both), degree level, subject area and zip-code, or by visiting the American Association of Community Colleges.
Remember, these classes are not meant as an easy way out. Students should be motivated and willing to spend a great deal of time reading, analyzing, and writing on their own. Well-suited for adult students with family or work obligations, history hybrid courses are more adaptable to busy schedules, but are designed for self-starters who can learn well on their own and actively participate in a group setting.
 Information obtained during online chat sessions with each school.
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Get Schooled, Online Education.org, http://www.onlineeducation.org/hybrid-education