Date of Award:

2016

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Education

Advisor/Chair:

Michael K. Freeman

Abstract

This descriptive study sought to understand the instructional potential of a new course design for teaching adults in higher education. Increasingly referred to as a hybrid course format, it entails dividing a course into both online and face-to-face sessions that are separately calendared. A primary focus of the study was to identify teaching principles that are recommended by established adult education models and to describe how they have been incorporated by hybrid course designers. Also studied was how combining the online and face-to-face instructional modes provides structural opportunities for improving communication and teacher/learner dynamics.

The adult education models analyzed were the andragogy model, the self-directed learning model, the transformative learning model, and the experiential learning model. The structural opportunities investigated included content delivery choices such as the use of lecture- and learner-centered activities and the best practices recommendations previously published for hybrid instruction. An online survey was administered to 267 hybrid course instructors at Utah Valley University, where 20,667 students have participated in a hybrid course. This university was actively engaged in developing the hybrid course design into a quality instructional option. The online survey provided descriptive data about how hybrid course instructors at the university perceive their understanding and use of adult education theories and how they utilize the online and face-to-face modes.

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