A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Hybrid Class

By Colleen Kearney Rich on May 30, 2013

Paige Wolf
School of Management

Almost 500 students are enrolled in Mason management professor Paige Wolf’s People and Organizations course each semester. The sheer number of people who take this School of Management core course was a driving force behind finding an innovative solution to meet both learning and efficiency goals.

Paige Wolf

Paige Wolf

All of Wolf’s lectures are prerecorded and online. The students then attend a recitation section, much like the lab that accompanies a science course, where they interact with a teaching assistant or adjunct faculty member who facilitates exercises that expand on that week’s lesson. Some of the recitations are online as well, which makes the course a popular elective for Mason’s online degree programs.

“It comes down to, how do you want to learn the material?” she says. “Some people want a lecture; others prefer reading the book. Most benefit from both.”

Wolf prepares the lesson plans for the recitations and meets with those instructors each week. “The role of the professor in this style of course delivery may not appeal to all faculty members,” she says. “It takes a lot of administrative organization because you have different instructors facilitating the recitations, but consistency in the students’ experience is important.”

Wolf says students’ reactions to the format vary. Many students note the benefits of online lectures (e.g., convenience, 24/7 accessibility). Some students would prefer a traditional course format with more face-to-face contact. The hybrid course satisfies most students in that it allows interaction with the recitation instructor and the freedom to watch lectures and read the textbook on their own time.


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