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Potentials and Limitations of Face To Face and Hybrid Teaching Modes
Higher education has been faced with a particular set of challenges in response to COVID-19. It is a balancing act to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines regarding social distancing and still offer face-to-face instruction. Based on classroom size and availability, adjustments have been made in instruction, meaning not all students can attend in person as they traditionally would do. To ensure continuous and quality education for students, our institute is adopting two teaching modes: 1) A traditional teaching mode, which is functional when the class size is small enough and the classroom is big enough for everyone to meet face to face each class period while still satisfying CDC guidelines; 2) A hybrid teaching mode, which is executed for larger class sizes and laboratories where the number of students exceeds classroom capacity. In the hybrid mode, half of the class meet via a videoconferencing software while the other half meet face to face; these groups alternate every class period. In this study, the learning opportunities and limitations were investigated both qualitatively and quantitatively to better understand how the course content is being received by the students. Through surveys and daily class-comprehension quizzes, we are able to observe and compare performance as it correlates with class attendance mode. Quizzes are specifically tracked to assess the effect of online versus in-person teaching. Surveys were implemented at the beginning and at the end of the semester to probe student perception and sentiment toward these two teaching modes. To improve the statistics and generalizability of the results, this study was conducted in several courses across five different instructors. Potentials and friction points for each mode of instruction are identified from the results.