D. Foster‐Hartnett, Gwantwa Mwakalundwa, Lisa Bofenkamp
Jun 1, 2022
CBE Life Sciences Education
The increase in online learning brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic will likely result in a greater availability of online and hybrid course offerings. In this study, students enrolled in parallel sections of a microbiology lab course with in-person labs and either face-to-face (F2F) or all-online lectures (hybrid, H). Course material and method of assessment in the two sections were identical; student demographics were similar. In the first year, F2F students scored significantly higher on two out of four exams. In the second year, two interventions were introduced: team-building activities (in both sections) and online group discussions (H only). Students in both the F2F and H sections reported similar positive teamwork reviews based on Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness (catme.org) and survey data. Although the COVID-19 pandemic eventually forced all learning online, exam scores from the two sections in the first half of the semester were similar, suggesting that the interventions were effective. In both sections, exam scores were positively correlated with entering grade point averages. This study adds to the body of literature supporting the effectiveness of hybrid learning.