Analyzing Students' Perceptions of Their Learning in Online and Hybrid First-Year Composition Courses

Patricia Boyd


This article presents a study of first-year composition (fyc) courses that were taught in both online and hybrid formats in order to determine students’ perceptions on how much they learned in them. The students’ responses to an extensive survey, in which they analyzed their experiences in their courses, point to larger questions about our individual pedagogical assumptions as well as larger issues related to the structures of first-year composition courses and their required status.


Hybrid, Online, First-year composition, Student perceptions


Students were asked their perceptions on a variety of issues they were dissatisfied with their interactions with instructors, and felt that instructors did not respond in a timely manner. The results of the survey suggest that students want online courses to include the positive aspects of f2f courses but also want the online environment to be better than f2f. Students also did not seem to understand the goals of discussion board postings and ended up doing the work because it counted towards their grade, not because they saw the value in it.
Three main benefits of online learning emerged from the research: they were introduced to multiple perspectives, they had the space to share opinions and online experiences directly benefited their writing.

APA Citation

Boyd, P. W. (2008). Analyzing students’ perceptions of their learning in online and hybrid first-year composition courses. Computers and Composition, 25(2), 224-243.

About the Study

Links to Article
Mode Blended or Hybrid, Online
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication Computers and Composition
Type of Research Qualitative
Research Design Survey research (qualitative or quantitative)
Intervention/Areas of Study Course design
Level of Analysis Student-level
Specific Populations Examined First-year students, Undergraduates
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest 4-year Institution, Not-for-profit, Public
Specific Course or Program Characteristics Arts and humanities
Outcome Variables of Interest Learning effectiveness, Satisfaction
Student Sample Size 100-199
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