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Student Perceptions of Content Delivery Methods in Marketing Hybrid Courses
Critical Conversations and the Academy
A National Symposium
November 22-23, 2019
University of Miami
Ashutosh Dixit, Cleveland State University
Heather Kirkwood, SUNY-Farmingdale
Thomas Tanner, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Hybrid courses are gaining popularity in many colleges and universities. With the increase in popularity comes questions as to the efficacy of the various methods that one can use to deliver content in his/her courses. A recent study by Microsoft shows us that people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds, highlighting the effects of an increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain. Our attention span is now less than that of a goldfish! Measuring efficacy toward content delivery methods is important to ensure academics are utilizing the most engaging and effective tools to reach the student population. This exploratory study examines the efficacy of various content delivery mechanisms, as perceived by students.
Originating in the early 2000’s, hybrid courses (also sometimes referred to as blended courses or flipped classrooms), are those in which “traditional face-to face “seat time” has been replaced by online learning activities,” (“Hybrid Courses,”2019). Hybrid courses are growing in popularity for many reasons. Some institutions are looking to grow the hybrid course offering to deal with capacity issues. Hybrid courses offer many benefits to professors and students alike.
From the professor’s perspective, some of the benefits are as follows: more efficient use of face-to-face class time (Estes et al. 2014), increased student engagement, increased student learning, the ability to provide challenging, new pedagogical approaches and teaching opportunities.
Digital natives prefer the Internet to view content (Duvenger & Steffes, 2012). In addition to that notion, from the student’s perspective, some of the benefits of taking hybrid courses are: flexibility, fewer social barriers and less travel.
YouTube as a Content Delivery Mechanism
YouTube has now become the world’s second largest search engine (Dogtiev, 2019). In 2018, YouTube boasted a monthly viewership of 149 million users (Statista, 2018). YouTube also reported that one billion hours of video was watched per day on its platform (YouTube, 2019). Many colleges and universities maintain a YouTube presence. In addition, other organizations such as TED (www.ted.com) use the platform to distribute educational content.
Snelson (2011) explored the potential for YouTube in online education. She found several benefits to utilizing the platform in an online learning environment. Her research revealed that YouTube is beneficial for content management, providing free access to large quantities of public video and creating playlists which meet learning objectives. Buzetto-More (2015) studied student perceptions of the use of YouTube in online, hybrid and web-assisted courses. She found that the use of YouTube enhances student engagement, particularly for fully online learners. Her study outlined the need for additional research of utilizing YouTube as an instructional tool, particularly when examining its relevance to course grades, student performance and course retention.
LinkedIn Learning as a Content Delivery Mechanism
LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) is described as a “customizable learning environment”, with memberships from 40% of U.S. colleges and universities (“About Lynda.com” 2019). Created by Lynda Weinman in 1997, LinkedIn Learning has over 3,500 courses available and claims to add around 60 more each month (“About Lynda.com” 2019). LinkedIn Learning offers videos and full-length courses in many different subjects. A search of the site utilizing the basic search term “marketing” yields over 14,000 videos covering a myriad of topics and allows for the user to choose from a wide variety of courses. To date, very little to no research has been conducted to determine the efficacy of LinkedIn Learning utilization in hybrid courses.
Purpose of the Exploratory Study
Utilizing the right tools to engage our students is paramount, especially given the nature of the hybrid course where online learning often accounts for a large percentage of total learning. The purpose of this exploratory study is to investigate student perceptions of two content delivery mechanisms that are used in the hybrid class format- LinkedIn Learning and YouTube.
The hypotheses focus on the impact of content delivery mechanisms on engaging students in hybrid class formats, the efficacy of such mechanisms, their contribution toward providing a satisfying learning experience and also seeks to identify any differences in perception due to age and gender.
- H1: Use of Lynda.com as a content delivery mechanism enhances course instruction.
- H2: Use of Lynda.com content increases student engagement.
- H3: Use of YouTube as a content delivery mechanism enhances course instruction.
- H4: Use of YouTube content increases student engagement.
- H5: Use of Lynda.com increases student satisfaction with the course.
- H6: Use of YouTube increases student satisfaction with the course.
A survey is being designed to measure student perceptions of content delivery tools within a hybrid Marketing Principles course. The study is currently in the data collection stage. Students in four sections of a Marketing Principles course (two from Fall 2019 and two from Spring 2020) are invited to participate in the survey. Students in the four sections are/were assigned three Marketing Linkedin Learning video tutorials and viewed two educational videos on YouTube.
Our exploratory research will assist with bridging the gap regarding efficacy of content delivery mechanisms used for hybrid learning. In specific, we will be gathering information regarding the use of YouTube and LinkedIn Learning, a tool which has largely been ignored, if ever studied, within the realm of student perceptions. Our results should provide valuable information to instructors, administrators of institutions of higher education, and potentially, YouTube and LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com).
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