Hybrid vs Entirely Online

According to a recent survey of 20,00 current and prospective adult students, higher education is not keeping up with student demand for hybrid programs. Students seem to want hybrid programs that blend online and face-to-face experiences.  The report on the survey questions whether students are being “forced” into studying entirely online due to a lack of hybrid programs.

The comments to this post on the Wired Campus blog points to reasons for the lack of hybrid classes:

  • Facilities utilization (scheduling classrooms)
  • Online only fits adults’ schedules better.
  • One student states that face-to-face courses  are boring because the co-called “interaction” in those courses is limited to whoever can get the instructor’s attention.
  • Entirely online programs work beautifully when they are designed properly.

At Albany Law School, we offer 3 hybrid courses:

  • The Law of Climate Change: Domestic and Transnational

 The course takes place roughly 2/3 in the classroom and 1/3 online.  The class meets once weekly, with the balance of class time “virtual”: additional lectures and discussion will take place regularly on-line. Online class “meetings”  are asynchronous (comments and responses posted on your own schedule). In addition to these online class meetings, assignments are posted and handed in online.

  •  Domestic Violence Prosecution and Advanced Domestic Violence Prosecution

 2/3 takes place in the classroom and 1/3 involves practical experience. The students meet once weekly to learn basic lawyering and courtroom skills. For the rest of the time, students work in specialized domestic violence courts in the Capital Region  in order to practice the skills learned in class. Materials are posted online.  Assignments are handed in online.  Asynchronous discussions are also held online.


At the present time, only one course at Albany Law School is taught entirely online: Government Ethics.


Students here have reacted favorably to both the  Hybrid classes and Government Ethics Online.


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