Student Performance In A Principle of Microeconomics Course under Hybrid and Face-to-Face Delivery


Economics, Finance, & Quantitative Analysis

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Designing a hybrid course entails the challenge of choosing learning activities for each of the face-to-face and online environments--and sequencing and coordinating the activities across the two environments--to promote student attainment of the course’s learning objectives. This paper presents a study comparing student performance in an undergraduate Principles of Microeconomics course taught by the same instructor under hybrid (n = 51) and face-to-face (n = 24) delivery. The percentage of hybrid students completing the course (71%) was not significantly different (chi-square = .61, p = .433) than that (79%) of the face-to-face students. A regression analysis controlling for student GPA indicated that, for students completing the course, the composite test score was, on average, an estimated 4.8 percentage points lower (p = .025, one-tailed) under hybrid delivery than under face-to-face delivery. Student GPA had a strong positive ceteris paribus impact (p = .000, one-tailed) on the composite test score. The finding of a lower level of student learning under hybrid relative to face-to-face delivery is attributed to inattentiveness to pedagogical principles in designing the hybrid course. The study serves as a caution to colleges and universities initiating or expanding their hybrid course offerings in the absence of faculty training or quality control checks. The paper closes with suggestions for further research.

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