A study of student engagement in traditional and blended high school physics courses
Beck, Marissa Danielle
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Online classes are often less engaging for students and result in lower levels of content knowledge. The goal of this study was to assess the level of student engagement and the level of content knowledge obtained between online lab simulations and traditional, hands-on labs, as well as determine which type of activity is more engaging for a traditional physics student compared to a student in a BlendEd physics course (partially online and partially in-person). Data was collected over two units of instruction from surveys, formative assessments, summative assessments, the learning management system called Canvas, and direct instructor observations. Traditional, hands-on labs were found to be more engaging on average for both traditional and BlendEd physics students, and they resulted in higher levels of content knowledge compared to the online simulations. The most successful BlendEd students were able to work well independently and reported high levels of engagement for the online simulations in addition to the traditional, hands-on labs.