Face to Face + Online, How Hybrid Instruction Compares to Traditional College Classes

Are hybrid classes as good as face to face classes? Research from Ithaka, S  & R Consulting has found that courses that provide  a blend of both face to face and online instruction produce nearly equivalent learning outcomes to the traditional classroom experience.

“The study compared how much students at six public universities learned after taking a prototype introductory statistics course in the fall of 2011 in either a hybrid or a traditional format. The researchers randomly assigned a diverse group of 605 students to either a hybrid group, in which they learned with computer-guided instruction and one hour of face-to-face instruction each week, or a traditional format, usually with three or four hours of face-to-face instruction per week.

The result? “We find that learning outcomes are essentially the same—that students in the hybrid format pay no ‘price’ for this mode of instruction in terms of pass rates, final exam scores, and performance on a standardized assessment of statistical literacy,” the report concluded.”   (from The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wired Campus, 5/22/12, Katie Mangan)

 Bottom Line: Since most colleges and universities appreciate  the lower costs associated with online instruction, you can expect to find more hybrid courses in the future.