Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Education

Document Type



Schools and universities had to make unexpected changes beginning in Spring 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Spring 2021, one university in the southern region of the United States implemented hybrid teaching formats in College Algebra courses, where students attended half of the classes in-person, and the remaining half of classes were attended synchronously and remotely. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to determine if students’ attendance methods (virtual or in-person) impacted their academic performance in the course. Additionally, the study sought to determine how students and the instructor felt student performance was impacted by hybrid attendance. The quantitative portion of the study served two purposes. First, it assessed the correlation between student attendance methods and their academic performance. Second, the quantitative portion determined if there is a difference in student performance between a traditional, pre-pandemic semester and the hybrid semester of Spring 2021. The qualitative portion of the study assessed student and instructor opinions of hybrid teaching effectiveness.

Key findings from the quantitative portion of this study determined that absences impacted overall averages more than method of attendance, but attending virtually did negatively impact overall averages as well. Additionally, the overall averages from Spring 2019, a traditional, pre-COVID semester, and the Spring 2021 semester were not statistically significantly different. There were, however, differences in the quiz category that was a part of the overall grade, which did not change from Spring 2019 to Spring 2021.

Five themes emerged from the qualitative portion of the study. Students reported struggling with the virtual portion of class, making them feel disconnected and more distracted. The instructor reported that virtual learning fostered lower motivation and student engagement, which would result in lower student performance. There were mixed results on whether students found the hybrid attendance methods to be successful in their College Algebra course.



Committee Chair

Kirshner, David