Faculty and Students Present Research on Hybrid Learning

On Wednesday, March 27 Dr. Sylvia McDonald, Assistant Professor of Psychology, and Jodi Irvine, a senior psychology major, presented on the topic of “Professor Immediacy in Hybrid Classes: Do Hybrids Make the Grade?”

At a faculty workshop in 2010, OCU Provost Dr. Hank Kelly challenged faculty to look into the hybrid model and its benefits.

“As someone who takes the teaching portion of my job very seriously, I felt it my duty as a professional to investigate trends in higher education,” Dr. Sylvia McDonald said.

McDonald and her teaching assistant Jodi Irvine began researching different techniques of hybrid learning. They decided to incorporate four techniques into McDonald’s psychology course: interactive course material, MP3 audio with slides, video lectures with embedded pictures, and course discussion boards.

At the end of the course, students were given a voluntary, anonymous survey. Using a five-point Likert scale, students ranked the elements on enjoyment, self-perceived beneficial to learning, and overall performance. The video with embedded elements had the highest ratings in all three categories.

Here is a sample clip from one of Dr. McDonald’s lecture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsGa9bm6DIg&feature=youtu.be

The techniques of MP3 audio with slides and discussion boards were less effective and enjoyable as rated by the students.

“This contradicts current literature which highlights a preference for online discussion boards,” McDonald said. “I try to put a ‘water cooler moment’ in each of the videos to get students to talk about them. This leads to other students watching to be able to participate. It boils down to students will watch the videos.”

McDonald and Irvine also shared their research at the National Institute for the Teaching of Psychology in St. Petersburg, Florida.

McDonald holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Walden University and a master’s degree in counseling from Liberty University. Irvine is completing her Bachelor of Arts with a major in psychology.