Social Studies Department plans to introduce hybrid courses

Social studies teacher, Jake Holland, teaches juniors in one of his regular U.S. History classes. After watching a video created by junior Daniel Hentschel, Holland talks to them about the Renaissance 
 and Reformation.

Social studies teacher, Jake Holland, teaches juniors in one of his regular U.S. History classes. After watching a video created by junior Daniel Hentschel, Holland talks to them about the Renaissance and Reformation.

Caitlin Wolfarth, News Editor

The Social Studies Department has proposed a new “hybrid course” for the upcoming school year.

A hybrid course would combine online and classroom learning. These courses are “a growing trend in colleges and professional development,” social studies teacher Jake Hollin said.

According to Hollin, students taking a hybrid course would only meet twice a week.

The department suggested this last year. The social studies department discussed it for about a year but the idea is just now moving up to the administration for further input .

“I have been in discussion with Mr. Powell,” Vice President Gary Scholl said. “We have only talked about it as a concept but I think it’s something we might want to investigate.”

According to Scholl, change in education is happening fast and dramatically because of the computer.

“Our teachers can’t teach without computers anymore,” Scholl said. “That’s just the way life is.”

“It’s an interesting idea with classes only two times a week,” sophomore Morgan Broman said. “I feel like you’d need really committed students to do it because it’s mostly online.”

According to Hollin, Hybrid classes will not take the place of the original face to face classes.

“It’s mostly for students who really want to take an elective but cannot fit it into their schedule,” Hollin said. Having only two classes a week would give students the opportunity to take more classes and electives.

The first hybrid course, if the administration agrees, will be business. If possible, the class will begin next year. This class will be held only twice a week, and the rest will be done online. Social Studies teachers, Brian Powell and Hollin are planning on teaching the course for next year’s senior class.

“The students will be doing online work like discussion groups, research, and creating presentations,” Hollin said.

“I think it’s great,” Powell said. Powell is one class away from getting his certificate in Distance Education and E learning.

“It’s nice because the school will not have to pay a full week’s salary because it’s only one or two days a week,” Powell said.

The 2010 Sloan Survey of around 2,500 colleges showed that approximately 5.6 million students nationwide were enrolled in at least one online course in the fall of 2009.

“We are getting students ready for college, because chances are they will be taking at least one online course,” Hollin said. “This is the way the world is moving in terms of professional development .”

“We do a lot of stuff online anyway so I don’t think it would be that big of a change,” freshman Sydney Branch said. “It’s good because it prepares us for how we will learn in college.”

 Caitlin Wolfarth is a News Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.