A case study of undergraduate nontraditional adult learners' perceptions of hybrid classes

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University of Alabama Libraries

Nontraditional adult students in higher education must balance a multitude of responsibilities while completing their college education. This student population juggles work, family, and college coursework. To maximize options for this student population and meet their needs, institutions of higher education have developed alternative modes of instruction, such as hybrid classes, which use both face-to-face instruction and online instruction. Delivering alternative options for instruction provides the convenience and flexibility that adult students need. However, it requires educators to design courses and create a campus climate that promotes student engagement. Research supports the theory of student engagement as a predictor of student success and degree completion; thus, the hybrid format is intended to facilitate a greater degree of engagement. This case study explored undergraduate nontraditional adult learners’ perceptions of hybrid classes and student engagement in this alternative format. This study drew upon the research literature bases of adult learners, nontraditional students, student engagement, online and hybrid course design, and social presence.

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Adult education, Higher education