To learn more about student and faculty expectations of and experiences in hybrid and online classes at Baruch College, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) distributed student and faculty surveys at the beginning and end of the Spring 2015 semester. All surveys were created and disseminated using the College’s Qualtrics software. Using course codes from CUNYFirst, the Baruch Computing and Technology Center (BCTC) generated a list of students enrolled in and faculty teaching hybrid/online classes for the Spring 2015 semester. The January surveys were completed by 417 students and 32 faculty members. The second surveys, on experiences, were sent out in May to the same groups of students and faculty; 442 students and 43 faculty completed the May survey.
The January surveys were designed to assess expectations for hybrid/online classes. The student survey gathered basic academic data and employment information, and asked students whether or not they had previously taken a hybrid/online course. The survey also asked students about their expectations for their upcoming course, including questions about anticipated workload, instructor and peer interaction, and access to technology. The January faculty survey gathered data about departmental affiliation and employment status (full or part-time). The survey also asked specific questions about previous training for teaching and hybrid/online classes, and expectations about technology, assessment, learning goals, communication, and student engagement.
The May survey followed up to assess whether or not the hybrid/online course fulfilled student and faculty expectations. Since the student survey in January revealed that 50% of respondents were transfer students, the May survey asked these students to provide the name of the school from which they transferred.
It should be noted that the results of these surveys can be interpreted in a number of ways. Since many questions asked faculty and students to evaluate hypothetical situations (for example, if they would have experienced a different outcome had the same class been taken or taught in a face-to-face setting), the results reflect participants’ attitudes and presumptions and do not offer empirical evidence about learning outcomes. The CTL reads these surveys as snapshots of student and faculty attitudes and understandings about hybrid/online courses, and will use the results as entry points for more substantive research.
The following sections present aspects of the surveys that we feel significantly impact hybrid/online learning at Baruch College:
- The Introduction to Student Survey Findings gives a broad overview of the results of the January and May student surveys.
- Academic Challenges for Transfer Students in Hybrid/Online Classes discusses how the different demographics and potential digital communication disruptions of transfer students may affect their performance in hybrid/online classes.
- Working Students: Preferences for and Performance in Hybrid/Online Courses hypothesizes about the experience of working students in hybrid/online courses.
- Student Expectations and Experiences in Hybrid/Online Classes details students’ self-reported assessments of their hybrid/online courses.
- The Introduction to Faculty Survey Findings offers a broad overview of some results from the faculty survey, including how faculty prepared and trained for their hybrid/online courses.
- Pedagogy and Technology offers insight into the faculty experience in terms of adjustments faculty made to their teaching practice and their self-evaluations of technology and support.
- Moving Forward offers suggestions and recommendations for future research, student outreach, faculty development, and training seminars based on the results of these preliminary surveys.
Next section: Introduction to Student Survey Findings