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Incorporating the Hybrid Learning Model into Minority Education at a Historically Black University

, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, United States ; , Fayetteville State University, United States

JITE-Research Volume 5, Number 1, ISSN 1539-3585 Publisher: Informing Science Institute


Proponents of hybrid learning proclaim it to be an effective and efficient way of expanding course content that supports in-depth delivery and analysis of knowledge (Young, 2002) and increases students satisfaction (Campos & Harasim, 1999; Dziuban & Moskal, 2001; Rivera, McAlister, & Rice, 2002; Wu & Hiltz, 2004). In the years to come, hybrid learning is poised to cause a paradigm shift in higher education (Allen & Seaman, 2003; Lorenzetti, 2005; Young, 2002). Graham B. Spanier, president of Pennsylvania State University, was quoted in Young (2002) as saying that hybrid learning presents “the single-greatest unrecognized trend in higher education today.” This benefits of online and hybrid learning have been recognized by the State of Maryland. In a move to stimulate the use of alternative delivery methods, the regents of the University System of Maryland instituted a policy in 2005 that all students take on average 12 of their credits through out-of-classroom experiences and other nontraditional means. Included in the regents' definition of out-of-classroom experiences are e-learning, internships, student teaching, and a host of other activities. Diana G. Oblinger, vice president of Educause, was cited in Lorenzetti (2005) as saying that the Maryland system is recognizing that some online learning is an enhancement to students’ higher-education learning experiences even when those students are full-time on campus residents. She asserted that the Maryland initiative indicates, and will result in, tangible growth in the hybrid learning model. This paper presents the findings of a study that examined student perceptions of hybrid business courses at a historically black university that operates within the University System of Maryland. Founded in 1886, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) is a historically black, 1890 land grant institution and a member of the thirteen-campus University System of the State of Maryland. Albeit a late entry into the world of online learning, UMES has made significant strides over the last 4 years, including the adoption of WebCT, the online course management system employed by the University System of Maryland. Currently, UMES offers copious numbers of web-enhanced courses, a number of hybrid courses, and a smattering of fully online courses. The population for this study was chosen after an exhausting literature review revealed that there was a lack of substantial research that focused specifically on the perceptions of African American college students with respect to e-learning. Additionally, it provides critical insight to the opinions of a population that statistically falls within the diminutive end of the digital divide. During the course of this study a survey was administered to 178 students who had completed either a business communications or business ethics course using the WebCT course management system. The hybrid learning environments created for these two required courses included: PowerPoint lecture notes; a glossary of key terms and definitions indexed alphabetically and by unit of study; relevant links to external websites; supplemental handouts; self-checks; quizzes; an online discussion section; and individual mailboxes. The study spanned four semesters, beginning in the fall of 2003 and concluding in the spring of 2005. Data was collected through the administration of a survey using the Zoomerang online survey service. The survey instrument was comprised of Likert scale, multiple choice, and open-ended questions and was analyzed using SPSS. The results of this paper suggest that the use of course websites in higher education increases students' course satisfaction. Students responded that they were satisfied with their use of WebCt, enjoyed the online portion of the course, and considered the use of WebCt a motivating tool. The students overwhelmingly responded that they were interested in enrolling in future hybrid learning experiences; however, approximately half said they would take a fully online course in the future. The findings of this study are complementary with the results of similar studies conducted at majority institutions. This study has indicated that hybrid learning has a positive future in minority education; however, more research is needed. As a result, a large-scale more in-depth research study was launched in the Fall of 2005 and is ongoing. Courses have been be redesigned with mandatory and instructor-led discussions, and expanded content and resources. New instrumentation has been developed that asks more in-depth questions regarding the individual learning components and comparisons will be made between fully online, hybrid, and web-assisted courses.


Buzzetto-More, N.A. & Guy, R. (2006). Incorporating the Hybrid Learning Model into Minority Education at a Historically Black University. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 5(1), 153-164. Informing Science Institute. Retrieved September 25, 2023 from .



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