The Impact of Hybrid Learning on College Students' Attention
Keywords:hybrid learning, college students' attention span, electroencephalography, online learning, remote learning, in-person classes, online classes, hybrid learning during Covid-19 pandemic, neuroimaging, EEG, synchronous online class, in-person vs. online class
Hybrid Learning is being adopted at many universities in order to accommodate the evolving Covid-19 pandemic guidelines. It combines in-person learning with online learning to give students flexibility for how they would like to consume their college education. Prior to the pandemic, college courses at the University of California at Berkeley were conducted primarily in-person with a few larger courses recording their lectures for re-watching online. At the peak of the pandemic beginning in March 2020 when all in-person classes were halted and moved online, students were required to quickly adapt to remote learning. As the pandemic restrictions began to ease by Fall 2021, an increasing number of courses were offered in a hybrid learning format. However, there is a lack of research in comparing the attention spans of students who join the same class in person versus synchronously online. In this research design article, I examine existing research on students’ attention spans during exclusively in-person lectures or exclusively online lectures. From a cognitive science perspective, I seek to explore how we can utilize electroencephalography (EEG), a non-invasive neuroimaging device, to measure and compare the attention levels of students who attend a lecture in person and students who attend the same lecture online. Through this study, professors of hybrid classes may use the data acquired through neuroimaging in order to test and find techniques that can help them improve engagement with their students participating synchronously online.
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