College statistics students in a hybrid class — online instruction plus a one-hour face-to-face session — performed slightly better than the control group and spent 1.7 fewer hours per week on the course, write William G. Bowen, Matthew M. Chingos, Kelly A. Lack and Thomas I. Nygren in Education Next.
“The effect of the hybrid-format course did not vary when controlling for race/ethnicity, gender, parental education, primary language spoken, score at the standardized pretest, hours worked for pay, or college GPA,” the authors report.
Half the students who participated come from families with incomes less than $50,000 and half are first-generation college students. Less than half are white, and the group is about evenly divided between students with college GPAs above and below 3.0.
Carnegie Mellon designed the hybrid course, which was taught at public universities in New York and Maryland.
Students in the control group received three to four hours of face-to-face instruction each week.
Moving to the hybrid model could cut the costs by 19 percent to 57 percent, depending on whether professors do all the teaching or assign sections to teaching assistants, the authors estimate.