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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 a hybrid course is much more time consuming and difficult for you.

Here are some common challenges students come across:


Procrastination can become magnified when online work adds up. Start on 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.

Student Advice

As the proverb goes, “do not put off things that you can do today.”

Online Temptations

Student working on a laptop

Online 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 limited time on these other sites.

Passive Learning

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 course 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.

Student Advice

I would encourage participation ...“The more one responds to others, the more others respond to you in the online class, so you improve and connect with your colleagues.”


Frustrated student

Online communication can be misunderstood and cause angry/hurt feelings among classmates because you do not have the benefit of seeing or 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 each other's perspectives.


Some students can never remember that they have hybrid assignments due at midnight on Thursdays. If this is you, you risk racking up absences, losing points, and failing the course.

Forgetful Student

Poor Reading Skills

If you are not a careful or strong reader, you may miss a crucial element of online hybrid assignments. Hybrids abound with detailed written instructions. You may 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, taking a hybrid course can give you an opportunity to practice and improve your reading skills, making you a better student overall!

Student Advice

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

You Thrive on Talking in Class

Students talking in class

Some people learn best through 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

The online assignments require a lot of writing. The more proficient a 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 typing.

Student Advice

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

Irregular Work Schedule

Adult students

Hybrids are for busy students with packed schedules, job hours, child care, etc. They are designed to be flexible, but one part is not flexible -- the in-person meeting. This is where valuable face-to-face contact occurs; it is where you can connect as 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 for whatever reason, that particular hybrid course section is not for you.