Dr. Heather Hatchett presented research on course format preferences at Assessment Institute Conference

Dr. Heather Hatchett, Cincinnati State Department Chair for Social and Behavioral Sciences, presented the results of her research on student remote learning preferences at the Assessment Institute Conference held in Indianapolis from October 9-11, 2022.

The Assessment Institute, hosted by Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI), is the oldest and largest higher education event in the United States focused on assessment and improvement.

The annual conference is designed to “introduce good practice and innovations in assessment that attendees can use in their own setting.” More than 1,000 participants from throughout the U.S. and some other countries attended the 2022 event.

The first part of Dr. Hatchett’s research examined preferences for course modalities in a student survey conducted during Summer Semester 2020, after pandemic requirements forced changes to the format of most face-to-face classes. The survey was completed by 120 students enrolled in six sociology course sections and four psychology course sections.

  • 51% of students selected face-to-face courses as their first choice.
  • 24% ranked a 100% asynchronous web (an online course with no required “live” class sessions) format as number one and 28% ranked it as their second choice.
  • 36% of students ranked synchronous web (an online course with live, virtual class sessions) format as their second choice.

Then, Dr. Hatchett developed a Remote Learning Best Practices (RLBP) Inventory to try to facilitate quick, efficient review of online course design and teaching practices either before or during course implementation.

This part of the research started in Spring Semester 2021, with a two-item, open-ended survey taken by about 300 students from a wide range of majors who who enrolled in introductory psychology or sociology classes.

The two open-ended questions were:

  • Please tell us about 2-3 things that were good or helpful to your learning successfully in a web class format (any format) this summer. Please write a brief explanation for each. 
  • Please tell us 2-3 things that would have improved your web learning experience this summer. Please give a brief explanation of each.

Analysis of the initial survey answers led to development of a 25-item Remote Learning Best Practices Inventory. This inventory has been administered to 520 students in social and behavioral sciences classes, and is part of Dr. Hatchett’s ongoing research that is investigating relationships between RLBP inventory scores, course satisfaction, and indicators of student success.

Dr. Hatchett said, “The current version of the RLBP Inventory is still experimental, and needs additional validation. Also, it needs to be used in combination with other web quality review assessments such as the established Quality Matters rubric.”

If you want more information about Dr. Hatchett’s research and the RLBP Inventory, you can contact her at heather.hatchett@cincinnatistate.edu.