Flipping the Way We Teach Writing: A Perspective on Student Perceptions of a Hybrid Undergraduate Technical Writing Course in Agriculture

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2021-10
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As directives from university and college administrators to shift to alternative forms of instructional delivery to traditional lecture increase, especially in light of current concerns with COVID-19, the readiness of faculty to offer quality instruction may be put into question. This study looked at student perceptions about hybrid learning for students enrolled in a technical writing course to glean insights on how this alternative instructional approach impacts student engagement and thus the ability to accomplish the learning objectives for a technical writing course that was revised from a standard flipped class to a hybrid class. Guided by a systems thinking framework, students enrolled in this technical writing course completed an anonymous, qualitative survey with open-ended, free response questions regarding their perceptions about the connections between the online and in-person components of the course and how various factors within the class, as a system, impacted their learning experience. Four themes were identified: students appreciate autonomy, students appreciate structure, students need access to the instructor, and students value meaningful interactions. Discussion includes considerations for instructors looking to incorporate alternative instructional strategies, like a hybrid learning modality, in their agriculture courses.

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