Study Finds Hybrid Courses Just as Effective as Traditional Ones

Many colleges these days are trying hybrid or blended models of teaching in which students spend some time in a classroom but do some work online, and a new study suggests that students learn just as well as they do in a traditional course.

The study examined two health courses taught at the University of Missouri, one delivered the old fashioned-way and one in a hybrid format. The researcher, Shawna Strickland, director of the Respiratory Therapy Program at the university’s School of Health Professions, said that students in both groups performed equally well.

The students in the traditional class gave more favorable evaluations of the experience than those in the hybrid class, however. Several students in the hybrid course said they were confused about assignments or how to handle the mechanics of the course, according to a report on the study published in the Journal of Allied Health.

Many studies of fully online courses have found that they are just as effective as traditional ones, but less research has been done on hybrid models of teaching, according to the researcher. —Jeffrey R. Young

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