General Success Strategies
Your Hybrid Course continues outside the physical walls of our college campus. You must "take it home with you" and frequently communicate and work on the course before and/or after your "in person" class meeting during the week and possibly on the weekend, depending on how your professor has set up the course and schedule. Flexibility is built in and you will usually have a span of time to complete the online portion, plus homework. Here are some proven success strategies.
Log Into Your Hybrid Blackboard Site Often:
Keep up to date and always check the Announcements so you won't be left behind."
Several times a week (at least three), check in on the Discussion Forums, the Announcements and Assignments for any postings from classmates and changes and/or updates from your professor.
- Make sure you read the class discussion forums before your "in-person" class meeting.
Check Your NOVA Email Daily:
for emails, updates from your professor or classmates.
Taking a hybrid course can help you to become and stay a more organized student!
- Space Management
Keep a clear place to work. Weeding out clutter in your workspace can help. Find a physical workspace where you can do your online assignments with minimum distractions.
- Time Management
Schedule your time for hybrid work in advance each week. Set a regular time to work on the hybrid course and even "pretend" that it is class time. Keep track of assignment due dates.
Keep Up With Your Hybrid Course:
Schedule a specific time at least one other day during the week and pretend that you have class for 2 – 3 hours with no distractions."
- If you begin falling behind or feel overwhelmed with your weekly hybrid assignments, contact your professor, immediately. Visit before/after class or make an appointment to during his/her office hours.
- Make a friend in class who you can contact as well. Exchange emails, phone numbers early in the semester.
- It is important that you reach out and communicate; make connections; ask questions.
Read Instructions Carefully/Print Out
Be prepared; don't expect that since it is half online, it will be half the work. Although at times it may feel that you're getting off easy, with having a later due date, or not having to get out of bed for class, it always ends up being the same amount of work, if not more, than a regular English XXX course….I would advise new students never to procrastinate with the work…It's better if you do it early than late."
- Make sure that you read and reread your assignment—print it out so you don't miss anything. Annotate the assignment. Make sure you have completed all aspects of the assignment. It's very easy to overlook something in an online assignment if there is a lot of text.
- Read ahead in the course syllabus to find out when assignments are due and what you will have to do first before you can complete them. This is particularly important if the assignments are online, and require computer access.
Be Prepared to Write
Typically, you will write a lot more in a hybrid class. Many online assignments will be online discussion based. Make sure you have a writing handbook for reference for consulting about the writing process, grammar and punctuation. Your first year English Composition text such as Rules for Writers or Easy Writer will be just fine. You have a chance to really improve your style and technique in a hybrid course.
Have Basic Technological ‘Literacy’:
If you're going to take a hybrid course, you should be comfortable enough with computers to be able to (at least) do the following: upload and download files to Blackboard, search and browse the Web, use email, and interact on a discussion forum or bulletin board. You should also know how to download appropriate plug-ins if one is needed to read or view a file.
You should be able to type (or keyboard) well, and be able to use basic programs such as Word. Some courses will require you to know how to use other computer programs such as Excel, PowerPoint, or Photoshop, so you should check out the course syllabus as early as possible to find out whether you will be able to meet the computer requirements.
You should have a fast (broadband) connection, either through a cable modem, a DSL, or a ‘hardwired’ campus or public library computer.
Have a Technology Backup Plan:
- Anticipate that you will occasionally have computer problems. Identify multiple ways to access the Internet to do your hybrid online work if your computer crashes, if your household loses Internet service, etc. Contact your instructor as soon as you can by phone or email if you foresee a problem.
- Early in the semester, identify a ‘go to’ friend and have their phone number handy.
- Know how to contact the IT Help Desk at 703.426.4141.
Some material adapted from:
Drexel University - Scott Warnock
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Alan Aycock