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.