Highs and Lows of Hybrid Learning

Students and teachers begin to learn the ins and outs of synchronous education


Photo by Jean-Luc Euzen

WORKSPACE WONDERS: Junior Ronan Euzen works diligently as he sits at a desk set up in his room. Similar to Ronan, many students have created different e-learning working environments in order to optimize their productivity.

As Roncalli opened up its doors to welcome back its students on the first day of school, something was awry: only half of the student population appeared.

Although this scene seems to have come straight out of a Marvel movie, it was actually the result of switching to a new system of hybrid learning. With hybrid learning, the students are divided into two groups determined by their last name that rotate back and forth each day between going to school and participating in synchronous learning from home.

Unlike the previous form of online learning used during the end of the 2019-20 school year, synchronous learning allows for students at home to tune into their classes live and interact with their teachers as well as the rest of their classmates.

“Human interaction is so important to learning,” assistant principal of academic affairs Mrs. Beth Reel said. “Synchronous learning allows students to maintain that interaction.” 

While synchronous learning does allow students and teachers to directly interact, there are still some kinks, especially when it comes to taking tests online. However, Roncalli’s staff is moving to find a solution.

“Some assessments, such as longer tests, will be taken face to face. This way, students don’t have to worry about printing or uploading, and they can be with the teacher to ask questions,” Reel said.

The school’s goal in conducting hybrid learning is to provide a transitional period in order to ease the student population back to full capacity. It is unknown how long this transitional period will last.

“I do think that within this school year, we will see a return of all the students within the building,” dean of students Mr. Tim Crissman said. “Whatever we decide to do, we will work with the Marion County Health Department to ensure the safety of all our students.”

Although the future of hybrid learning is uncertain, one thing is for certain: the teachers have been outstanding.

“The teachers are the unsung heroes,” according to Reel. “The teachers have and continue to work tirelessly to deliver top notch instruction and make things possible.”

Whether at home or at school, students and teachers will continue to adapt with whatever changes the school year brings.