College Students’ Satisfaction Levels with Their First Hybrid Course in Design

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Since design courses have traditionally been taught in face-to-face studios, there is a limited amount of research on students’ first responses to design studio courses taught in a hybrid mode of instruction where half of the course experience occurs in an online environment and half in a studio classroom. This exploratory study describes thirty undergraduate, full-time, Design students’ responses to a satisfaction survey regarding a hybrid course in Environmental Communication Design. Sixty-one percent had never taken a hybrid course and 97 percent had never taken a hybrid course in Design. The students’ overall satisfaction rating with the hybrid course was 3.5 out of a possible 4.0. Participants responded to open-ended questions regarding the “least liked” and “most liked” aspects of the course. Students’ noted the “least liked” aspects of the hybrid course as being: loss of face-to-face time with the professor and classmates, difficulty following online assignment due dates, and difficulty with online technology. Of note, 29 percent of students offered no comments related to “least liked” aspects of the course. The “most liked” aspects of the course were: flexible time schedule for completing independent work, access to course materials from any location, and less time spent commuting to campus. Ninety-seven percent of students provided responses regarding their “most liked” aspects of the course. Educational implications are provided and areas for future research are outlined.