The Benefits of Continuing Flex-Hybrid After the Pandemic


Sunset on campus, taken by Haley Seymour.

There is a lot of hope that the pandemic is coming to a close, and fast approaches the reopening of the world after vaccine distribution. With the potential upcoming opening of the Champlain College campus, students are left with another stressful decision – what if I don’t want to go back? 

Despite being unexpectedly thrown out of the typical campus life in early 2020, plenty of  students have become accustomed to the world of virtual learning. This new environment comes with plenty of challenges, but for some students, things couldn’t get better than this. Some are thriving academically, some are thriving medically, and some are thriving financially because of it. With the imminent “normalcy” approaching and in planning for future semesters, it’s important that there’s consideration for those who wish to stay within the Flex-Hybrid model. 

According to a pool of students who were surveyed on their virtual semesters, the Flex-Hybrid model of classes has plenty of benefits that might give chances to those who struggle in a campus environment to have a chance at success that isn’t typically catered to. Over 35 percent of those students said they would continue with remote learning if given the chance. These are some of the reasons why. 

To students that might struggle with the pace of the live classroom, the structure that online learning provides makes participation much easier to navigate. Of those interviewed, over 23 percent said that the introduction of remote learning has had a positive impact on their academic success. For one, there is a sense of anonymity that black square boxes provide that may give a student the privacy that they need to feel confident in answering questions or participating in classroom discussions. Additionally, the chat feature allows those who might not always be able to verbally communicate to still be active in their course. Lastly, those who might have a hard time following live classes are granted the ability to watch a lecture if it was recorded.

There is a sense of security in terms of public health that being able to work remotely supports. Before the pandemic, it was common for students to come into class while they were sick. For many, grades come before rest, and it was easier to recover from a cold than to recover from a missed class. Of those interviewed, every single one of them said they would not go to class if they were experiencing any kind of symptoms in a post-pandemic world. One student answered, “Students should be responsible for staying at home until their symptoms stop.” For students who still would like to keep up with course meetings and stay home while they’re in recovery, remote options would be a great way to keep the rest of the class healthy while still allowing unwell students to keep up with the course. Not only would this benefit those who choose to be remote off campus, but also allow those on campus to be safe and balance their well-being with their academic success. 

Remote learning provides students with many more housing options, and has allowed many students to operate under a lower cost of living than the typical year might allow them to. In the students interviewed, an equal percentage of students were living with family and living on campus. For those who have the opportunity to live with parents, guardians, or a similar situation, many of them are paying much less for housing and food than they would if they were in Burlington, either on campus or in off-campus housing. This financial benefit is enough for many students to prefer remote learning – after all, thousands of dollars in savings is nothing to bat an eye at. 

While many students continue to be excited to get back to in-person learning, it’s important not to leave the remote learning lovers behind. Remote learning has allowed students to cater to their own preferred environment and participation abilities. It’s allowed them to keep themselves and their peers safe from illness. It’s allowed them financial freedom and savings from having a wider range of housing options. Once the pandemic is over and we can all navigate our world safely, a remote option would improve the lives of students who decide to continue their Champlain College behind their screens, as well as expand the pool of students to those of different educational, medical, and financial needs.