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Winter Session Offers Best of Classroom and Online Learning

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The best of classroom and online education will be available to students enrolling in Rutgers’ Winter Session on the New Brunswick Campus this year as more courses are delivered in online and hybrid formats than ever before.

Responding to the increasing popularity of online education, Winter Session, December 21 through January 18, will offer nearly 40 percent of its courses in fully online or hybrid – part online, part classroom – formats. Online registration is in progress until December 3 for more than 100 traditional, online and hybrid courses.

Rutgers students like the flexibility that hybrid and online courses offer, and most students who have taken hybrid and/or online courses rate them equal to, or better, than traditional classroom courses in terms of their interactions with professors and classmates, engagement in the courses, and instructional methods. 

Hybrid courses integrate face-to-face and online activities to capitalize on the best features of both formats. Well-designed hybrid courses effectively achieve course goals and objectives, support a wide range of student learning styles, and make efficient use of classroom space. Completely online courses can involve synchronous learning events, in which professors and students log in at the same time, or be structured so that students accomplish learning objectives according to their own schedules. Both formats leverage the power of multi-media presentations, independent learning, and interpersonal communication available through modern technology. 

“Winter Session is a particularly good time to offer online and hybrid alternatives to our students,” said Elizabeth Beasley, director, New Brunswick Office of Summer and Winter Sessions. “Students can make progress towards their academic goals, while reducing or avoiding the winter-weather commute to campus.”

This winter’s hybrid offerings will include Principles of Management, a business course that enables students to gain insight into the key roles and responsibilities of managing others, develop effectiveness as team members, and sharpen communication skills through formal and informal presentations. The course will be split evenly between in-classroom activities and online webinars.

Another hybrid course being offered is Current Moral and Social Issues, which examines landmark philosophical approaches to moral issues. Students are asked to consider pressing social issues and cultural phenomena, laws governing behavior, and related moral viewpoints. Discussions in class and online threads develop “a distinctly collective feel, making us a sort of incubator of new ideas, a ‘think tank’ in search of the best available answers we can design together,” said instructor Trip McCrossin.

Returning this year will be the popular online course, Earthquakes and Volcanos, which enrolled 96 students last year. The course explores plate tectonics and the origin of earthquakes and volcanos, including their causes, mechanisms, consequences, and effects on humans. The online format allows the instructor to update the content based on the latest body of knowledge, and incorporate activities using Google Earth and other web-accessible information sources.

“I learned a lot of interesting things,” said one student, who took the course last year. “With an online course, I was able to pace myself with the projects and studying for exams. All of the information and lecture slides were available at all times so I could read ahead if I wanted.”

Winter Session courses are taught in a compressed time period, which allows for more interaction with instructors. Because students take only one course, they have the opportunity to intensively focus on the subject matter. Classes are open to Rutgers and visiting students who meet prerequisites for enrollment.

Attending Winter Session enables students to earn credits toward graduation, fulfill a prerequisite, reduce their spring course load, save money by accelerating their education, or take a course not available at other times.

For more information about Winter Session in New Brunswick, visit

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