A qualitative study of the implementation of a community college hybrid course
Educators in many jurisdictions have moved to incorporate the Web as a mode of delivery through the creation of hybrid courses enabled by commercially available course management software. Corporate expectations, the experience of the teacher, and the experience of the students are examined here in the transition of a course from a traditional to a hybrid mode of delivery. It is a qualitative phenomenological study based on observation of the classroom and online sessions supplemented by interviews with the teacher, students, and an instructional leader within the institution. The findings show that corporate expectations were inconsistent with support for implementation. Senior management established little policy on the implementation of the technology. In the absence of policy, the instructional leadership within the institution provided what little direction there was to faculty. The vision held by these instructional leaders emanates from the literature that asserts the superiority of hybrid delivery over other modes. Corporate expectations were not borne out. The teacher replicated the existing design of the traditional course, something that is noted in the literature as a general tendency by teachers in similar situations (Cuban, Kirkpatrick, & Peck, 2001). The experience of the students was the exact reverse of what the instructional leadership intended. Students monitored the progress of the course online and avoided attending class. The hybrid mode of delivery rather than enabling a richer learning experience than that found in the traditional classroom permitted students to use the technology to avoid engagement in the course.