Administrators and faculty have questioned the effectiveness of online, hybrid and dual credit sections of a course as opposed to a traditional face to face section. The opinion voiced most often is that the online and dual credit sections cannot begin to equal the learning in a traditional face to face classroom. Indeed, in our era of transparency in education, this question has arisen amongst state and federal education agencies as well as the administrative offices of colleges and universities. Studies have been conducted to compare modalities of delivery effects on student satisfaction, student retention, GPAs, as well as other parameters.
To address this question, Western Iowa Tech Community College Science Department in Sioux City, IA implemented a common assessment requirement for Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II. Initially the A&P common assessment consisted of an in-house exam created by full-time A&P Instructors. When HAPS re-created the comprehensive final exam and piloted A&P I and A&P II versions of the exam in 2014, WITCC students participated in the pilot. WITCC’s choice for separate A&P I and II exams was based on the observation that not all students complete their 2 semesters sequentially. Occasionally students begin their study of Anatomy & Physiology while to complete coursework during their wait to be admitted. Occasionally a student is accepted into their program more quickly than expected resulting in the withdrawal of the student from the second semester to focus more completely on their program specific courses.
WITCC’s results for semesters where all A&P students were tested included traditional face to face classes, hybrid sections where the students are provided an hour of lecture and 2 hours of lab per week, league classes which are dual credit high school students where the high school instructor is also the college instructor, hybrid league classes where there is both a college instructor and a high school instructor, and online students from WITCC only. Below is a graph of all of the data for the modalities demonstrating the comparability of instruction between the modalities. In addition to the scores and test statistics, users of the exams are provided statistics for all of the exams twice a year in June and again in December. These statistics are provided by school type such as 4-year college, 2-year college, technical college, etc. It is helpful to be able to compare my student performance with that of the students in other colleges similar to mine.
The effects of course delivery modality on student satisfaction and retention and GPA in on-site vs. hybrid courses
A Comparison of Teaching Modalities for Student Success http://zone2.asee.org/papers/proceedings/3/56.pdf
Comparing Student Performance in Online and Face-to-face Delivery Modalities https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1030563.pdf