Breadcrumb Navigation:

Home > Academics > Hybrid Courses > For Students > Challenges of Hybrid Learning

Challenges of Hybrid Learning

Hybrid courses are a specific mode of learning that may not suit every student. Some students procrastinate more than others; some are satisfied with barely passing a course. If you are this type of person, you may find that hybrid is much more time consuming and difficult for you.

Here are some common challenges many students may find:


Student Advice

left quoteAs the proverb goes, "do not put off things that you can do today.”

Procrastination can become magnified when online work adds up. Begin your hybrid weekly coursework early in the week! If you tend to put things off or try to do things at the last minute, hybrid will present you with serious difficulties. You must be able to complete a specified task on time. Establish a regular work routine.

Online Temptations

Online TemptationsOnline Temptations can distract you when you set out to do your hybrid work. Minimize your time with social networking, gaming, etc. Set a timer and allow yourself only so much time with these other sites.

Passive Learning

Student Advice

left quoteI would encourage participation..."The more one responds to others, the more others respond to you on the online class, so you improve and connect with your colleagues.”

Some students get through courses by doing only the bare minimum of work to pass. This type of student is likely to fail a hybrid course, where students must be active learners.

  • A typical hybrid emphasizes volunteering, working with groups online, and taking initiative more than in a traditional face-to-face course.
  • You may be asked to demonstrate your understanding of the course ideas and concepts by applying them to real-world situations.


MisunderstandingsOnline communication can be misunderstood and cause angry/hurt feelings among classmates because we do not have the benefit of seeing and hearing the author: eye contact, body language, voice intonations all give clues about humor or sarcasm. We can respectfully disagree with classmates about issues and course content. Keep this in mind and try to see other's perspectives.


ForgetfulnessSome students can never remember that they have hybrid assignments due at midnight on Thursdays. If that's you, you will rack up absences, lose points, and risk failing the course.

Poor Reading Skills

Student Advice

left quoteRead the syllabus carefully because everything is there; read the assignments and follow all the steps; post assignments on time.”

If you are not a careful reader or a strong reader, you may miss a crucial element of online hybrid assignments. Hybrids abound with detailed written instructions. Sometimes, you will be asked to follow directions about where to post essays, how to conduct peer reviews, and how to complete an online workshop.

On the positive side, however, taking a hybrid course can give you an opportunity to practice and improve your reading skills, making you a better student overall!

You Thrive on Talking in Class:

Talking in ClassSome people learn best through this face-to-face social interaction, which you can have during in-person class days. However, for half the course, the interaction via online discussion might seem lonely and isolated for some.

Poor or Slow Typing (Keyboarding) Skills

Student Advice

left quoteYou will need to type faster and be more active in the online class part. Need good word processing skills … type well. ”

The online assignments will require a lot of writing. The more proficient an typist you are, the better. You do not have to type 80 words a minute, but if you only "hunt and peck," you may be spending more time than you want simply typing.

Irregular Work Schedule:

Work ScheduleMissing in-person meetings. Hybrids are for busy students with packed schedules, job hours, child care, etc. They are designed to be flexible, but one thing is not flexible: the in-person meeting. This is where valuable face-to-face contact occurs; it is where you can feel connected, part of a community; it is where you can work out your weekly concerns and confusions. If you cannot attend the in-person portion regularly or have to miss several classes because of a job schedule, that particular hybrid course section is not for you.

Technology Problems

Technology ProblemsTechnology Problems will not excuse you from doing the online work. Seek out other ways to get online, people to contact in an emergency. If NOVA or Blackboard has technology trouble, this is not your fault. Please contact your hybrid instructor as soon as possible to inform him/her of the problem.

Discomfort with technology. You do not need to be a technological expert to take a hybrid class, but if you're not comfortable using computers, some components of the hybrid will be difficult.

Unreliable access to the Internet or a computer (you need to be sure you have access to more than one computer ).

If you do not own your own computer or if you must share with a number of family members, you may have difficulty in a hybrid course.

Computers crash; it is their nature!

Before a term starts, you need to be sure that you have multiple ways to access the Internet and email.

Some material adapted from:

Aycock, Alan - "Are Hybrid Courses for Me?" resources/for me.cfm

Aycock, Alan - "Tips for Success"

Warnock, Scott - "What are the advantages of online or hybrid courses?"

Warnock, Scott - "What are the disadvantages of online and hybrid courses?"