Hybrid lecture-online format increases student grades in an undergraduate exercise physiology course at a large urban university

Brian K. McFarlin

Abstract

Hybrid courses allow students additional exposure to course content that is not possible in a traditional classroom environment. This exposure may lead to an improvement in academic performance. In this report, I describe the transition of a large undergraduate exercise physiology course from a traditional lecture format to a hybrid lecture-online format. A total of 658 final grades (traditional = 346, hybrid = 312) was used to evaluate the effect of course format on academic performance. The hybrid online portion was delivered using WebCT Vista, enhanced with various instructional technologies. The hybrid lecture portion was enhanced with an in-class response system. PowerPoint files were used to distribute in-class lectures in both formats of the course. Final student grades were 9.9% higher (83% of the increase due to an increase in the exam grade) when the course was administered in a hybrid format (P = 0.01), which translated to a one letter grade increase on a standard grading scale. Transition from a traditional lecture format to a hybrid format significantly enhanced student learning; presumably, this increase is due to the fact that students were able to increase their exposure to course content via access to material on WebCT.

  • physiology education
  • WebCT
  • exercise science
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