Students’ Perceptions of Hybrid Classes in the Context of Gulf University: An Analytical Study
Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the field of education has experienced a 360-degree change in terms of teaching and learning processes. Resources, pedagogies, and assessments have been revised in accordance with virtual learning environments. One such learning environment is the hybrid class in which half of the students attend the class physically, observing social distancing and other protocols pertaining to the pandemic safety measures, and the remaining students attend virtually. This model was adopted in the College of Engineering, Gulf University, Kingdom of Bahrain, where the practical sessions demanded the students’ physical attendance for studio sessions. This study intends to examine the hybrid learning model adopted in detail and to identify the intensity of awareness, the perceptions, and the impact on performance of the hybrid learning model among the Interior Design Engineering students. The study is quantitative in nature; a specially designed questionnaire (with closed-ended questions) was used to collect data from participants selected based on a purposive sampling technique. Having verified the significance of the relationship of variables using the Pearson Chi-Square test, factor analysis was used for data reduction and to summarize the interdependent relationships. The results show that students’ awareness of accessing online resources through hybrid classes, students’ readiness to adopt hybrid classes, and teachers’ efficiency in delivering a remarkable learning experience are the key factors in the success of the hybrid learning model. The results also indicate the importance of advanced Learning Management System (LMS) and the emotional connection of the students with their instructors and their classmates in adding value to the effective learning experience of the participants.
Keywords: hybrid class, students’ perceptions, COVID-19 pandemic, virtual learning environment.
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