Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Traditional vs. Hybrid Courses

This article raises some interesting questions about the value of hybrid courses (some face-to-face interactions and some online work/interactions) as compared to traditional courses (all face-to-face).  The study has some credibility issues because the two courses that were compared to each other were on the same campus and there isn't a lot of information provided relative to class sizes, student demographics, etc., but it does raise some interesting points.

What I was intrigued by was that the article indicates that there did not seem to be any differences in student learning, but that students in the traditional classroom seemed to be more satisfied or pleased with their experience.  That got me thinking about student/learner satisfaction with their learning experiences.  Does it matter if they are "satisfied"?  If they learn, but are dissatisfied, is that a problem?  Essentially, I guess I wonder what role satisfaction or pleasure plays in the learning process.  From a gospel perspective it seems like real learning should leave the learner and the teacher "uplifted and edified".  If one or both are dissatisfied with the experience, does that mean learning hasn't occurred?