Keli Mu, Brenda M. Coppard, Al G. Bracciano, J. Chris Bradberry; Comparison of On-Campus and Hybrid Student Outcomes in Occupational Therapy Doctoral Education. Am J Occup Ther 2014;68(Supplement_2):S51–S56. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2014.685S02
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© 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association
We compared the graduate outcomes of doctoral students in a traditional on-campus occupational therapy program with those in a hybrid program. Participants were 81 students from an on-campus program and 13 students from a hybrid program. Graduate outcomes were measured with student grade-point average (GPA) at the end of each academic year, cumulative GPA, Fieldwork Performance Exam, National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) practice exam scores, and final NBCOT pass rate. Consistent with previous research, our results revealed no significant differences on most outcome variables, suggesting that hybrid programs are an effective delivery model for postsecondary higher education. These findings may provide guidance to occupational therapy programs in curriculum design, content delivery, and program refinement and development. Replication of this study is needed with a larger sample and inclusion of qualitative data. Future studies should compare the affective domain of graduate outcomes in on-campus and online or hybrid programs.
Traditional courses deliver 0% content using Internet technology.
Web-facilitated courses deliver 1%–29% of content using technology such as course management systems or course web pages. Syllabi and assignments are commonly posted on course websites for easy student access.
Hybrid courses deliver 30%–79% of content using Internet technology and are recognized as being among the fastest growing enrollment sections in higher education (U.S. Department of Education, 2009). Hybrid courses tend to have fewer face-to-face sessions, and online discussion forums (i.e., discussion boards) are commonly used. The term hybrid describes a course that has components of face-to-face and online instruction (TLT Group, n.d.). The goal of hybrid courses is to optimize student engagement by taking advantage of the strengths of face-to-face and web-based environments. In contrast to face-to-face courses with online supplementary materials, the instructor and students in a hybrid course interact with each other online.
Online courses deliver 80% or more of content using Web-based technology. Often, online courses have no face-to-face class sessions. Interaction among students and with the instructor is conducted using technology (e.g., web conferencing, discussion forums, email). Assignments are submitted to the instructor in an online manner (e.g., via course management system).
The findings of this study may be useful to other occupational therapy schools or programs in determining whether to adopt a hybrid program and may serve as a model for curricular design and content delivery.
This study may provide new or developing occupational therapy programs with an approach to assess the performance of cohorts to determine academic effectiveness and clinical ability in the curriculum.
As need for greater accountability and accreditation requirements increases, this study provides a basis for occupational therapy programs to explore and implement creative solutions for education delivery and curricula to meet the unique needs and learning styles of their service area and constituents.
Implementation of hybrid models of education provides a mechanism to control escalating higher education costs and circumvents the limitations imposed by traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms while meeting students’ learning needs and interests.
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