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What Is the Difference Between a Hybrid Class and an Online Class at a Vocational School?

Vocational schools offer practical training for students looking to start a new career. In the past, most vocational schools held courses on campus, and some offered online classes.

But recently, it has become more popular for vocational schools to offer hybrid classes. So, what is the difference between a hybrid class and an online class?

What Is the Difference Between a Hybrid Class and an Online Class?

There are many differences between the two teaching programs.

Hybrid Classes

Hybrid courses feature a combination of face-to-face lab work or hands-on skills, training, and online lectures. Students join the online lectures, meetings, and activities with apps such as Google Meet.

Instructors use educational software to email students and post assignments. Rather than having all interaction face-to-face like traditional vocational school classes, hybrid supplements face-to-face lab work with online lectures, and in some cases, simulation activities.

Online Classes

Online courses require students to access all discussions, chats, multimedia presentations, and meetings online. Students and instructors usually communicate by email rather than face-to-face. Some courses may require students to log in simultaneously for discussions or lectures. In these online classes, no hands-on training is completed.

Why Is a Hybrid Program a Good Alternative?

Hybrid programs are important because they feature the benefits of both in-person and online learning. A hybrid program is an excellent option for anyone looking to start a new career. The in-person component reinforces the online learning.

Quality 1—Work Independently

One of the most significant advantages of a hybrid program is the flexibility it offers students, making them self-pace their learning. The online portion of hybrid classes allows students to meet deadlines and complete coursework according to their schedule.

This is one way in which hybrid courses encourage students to work independently. Employers are looking for graduates who can take responsibility for their work, be self-starters, and get the job done with little supervision. Hybrid classes instill these qualities in students.

Quality 2—Better Time Management

Those students who take hybrid classes must manage their time better. This teaches them to balance work, school, and life in a way in a way where they can still succeed at all three.

Students have the ability to create their own schedule and better learn time management skills that can be used in their new career. Employers expect graduates to make it to work on time, meet deadlines, and be productive throughout the day. Time management skills help with this.

Quality 3—Improved Virtual Communication

Nothing helps graduates prepare for virtual communication on the job like a hybrid class. Whether their job is a branch location, or they are using video conferencing software with clients, having improved virtual communication skills will help develop important leadership skills and allow them to work well with others, even virtually.

Quality 4—New Technical Skills

When graduates have experienced online classes, they become familiar with the new technology they may use in their new career. Zoom, Dropbox, and Slack may be some of the examples of applications that hybrid program graduates will become familiar with as they enter the workforce.

Taking online or hybrid classes prepares vocational school graduates for the real world and the technologies that come along with new careers in many different industries.

What Are the Benefits of a Hybrid Class?

There are many benefits to attending a hybrid class at a vocational school. You can learn at your own pace, access content anytime, and get real world experience to prepare you for your new vocational career. The student can get immediate feedback from grading tools and instructors.

Benefit 1—Face-to-Face Time Is Spent Effectively

With lectures out of the way and no need to commute to the vocational school aside from hands-on workshops and labs, the time that a student spends with the instructors can be more meaningful. The student can actually meet and create a relationship with the instructor that can be used later when networking for a new job.

Benefit 2—Education Tailored to You

Hybrid classes fulfill the needs of students with different learning styles. Students have the opportunity to discuss coursework with instructors and take advantage of in-person lab work. Instructors have the opportunity to develop unique instructions and strategies for students that may make it easier to comprehend the material being studied. Students can work on course assignments at their own pace. Deadlines must still be met, but students have more flexibility with their schedule.

Benefit 3—Access Content Anytime

When students aren’t in the classroom, they can take advantage of online lectures and have access to instructors. Blended learning allows students to study course material in a variety of formats to maximize their unique learning experience.

Lectures may also be recorded and can be played back on demand. Whether the student missed something or is preparing for an exam, lectures can be accessed at the touch of a button.

Benefit 4—Real-World Experience

The time spent in labs provides students with real-world experience. Labs are necessary for students entering vocational careers, including many in the medical field.

For those students who are attending a medical assisting, nursing, sonography, or radiologic technology program, in-person lab work is important to put the student’s knowledge to the test with real equipment and real patients. This lab work builds confidence in students. When they start their first job, they already know the ropes and feel comfortable with the equipment.

Benefit 5—Immediate Feedback

Some educational software offers instant grading tools, so the student gets immediate feedback. When students take an exam or quiz online, they will know exactly how they did and what they need to work on. The exams will also be available to review online anytime students want to.

Which Vocational Programs Are a Good Match for Hybrid Programs?

Many vocational programs lend themselves to being hybrid programs. They offer hands-on experience that can be done only in a lab or workshop under strict supervision. These allied health programs can offer lectures online and in-person lab work.

Medical Assisting

A medical assistant hybrid program is an excellent choice for students who want to work in the medical field. A hybrid program equips students with the experience and skills they need to succeed.

Medical assistant programs include clinical and administrative training. Students learn through virtual classroom instruction, hands-on lab procedures, and supervised externships.


Students who plan on entering the practical nursing field can complete a hybrid program in as little as one year. Students study the same curriculum as on-campus students. However, in a hybrid program some of the coursework is covered online and the rest of the time can be spent in a lab practicing procedures and getting experience for a new career. Students in hybrid nursing programs must successfully complete supervised lab procedures in all aspects of nursing care.

Sonography and Radiologic Technology

Students who enroll in hybrid programs to be sonographers and radiologic technologists will take some of their courses online. The one thing they can’t do is use the medical equipment virtually. It is important for sonography and radiologic technology students to spend time actually using medical equipment in the right environment, with actual patients, so they can become comfortable and confident doing their job.

Final Thoughts

Hybrid classes are the best of both worlds. You get to attend lectures from home, access everything online, and get the in-person experience you need to learn how to use and become comfortable with the procedures and equipment you will actually use on the job.

Also of note are the certifications and licenses students are encouraged to test for upon completing their programs both online and in person, whether in a workshop, lab, externship, or clinical site. Start a hybrid class today, and be ready to work tomorrow.

Now that you know why hybrid classes are as valuable as online classes, want to learn more?  Our professional, career-focused technical school programs, developed with industry input and adapted to the 21st century workplace, will provide vocational school students on Long Island with the technical skills and abilities they need in the health care, business, and technical professions. See the Top 10 Reasons to Choose Hunter Business School.

Contact us today to find out more about how to become a vocational school graduate on Long Island.