After doing some research online about other hybrid learning strategies I was more content with this course's strategy. I liked how this course blended many different elements into one holistic learning process. Other courses online seemed to stress group work while the students were present in class. Although a majority of the classes I found were still dominant in face-to-face communications, they did still stress online work too. I found one class at UW-Milwaukee that stressed a lot of simulations for the real world. Common themes of these hybrid classes were online blogs or discussion boards. I think these are good places to create conversation among students but still not as good as face-to-face communication. One of the differences I found was that our class still had lecture and discussion sections when some other classes had their lectures online or just did all of their discussions online and not in a classroom.
I would like to say that although this course utilized many different platforms, I don't feel like they were all tied together perfectly. The blog posts seemed to be mostly just busy work that was not directly related to what we were talking about in discussions. The readings matched up well with the discussion goals but it didn't seem like the lecture matched up well with the discussion topics. I definitely feel like I am a more productive student in person because I am less distracted by the internet. With fewer distractions it is easier for me to become involved and contribute in discussions. I was also able to learn more about people in discussion than based on their online posts. Who people are becomes more clear when you can see how they are saying things and in what context they're saying them in during the conversation.
I think the UW Professors should continue to utilize the Internet but I'm not sure assigning weekly blog posts with limited content is the best use of the technology. Discussion boards are definitely a good way to allow students to critically think and contribute to conversations. I think this hybrid approach to learning can be good, but I don't think it can apply to all subjects. Something like math or science needs to be done in person. Learning through example problems is a lot less effective when you are alone and doing them through the Internet. Overall, I thought this was a very interesting course. Its topics were relevant and aligned well with how I have been viewing the Internet and the social media obsessed generations that continue to grow.