Learning Outcomes of a Hybrid Online Virtual Classroom and In-Person Traditional Classroom during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Xiufeng Xing, Sayed Saghaian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This paper explores the effects of using a hybrid virtual/traditional classroom, a blended teaching and learning approach, on undergraduate learning outcomes during the initial stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study aimed to investigate the prominent problems that appeared in the process of online teaching and learning and to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on undergraduates’ learning outcomes in public universities in China. The field of specialization of the subjects of this study is under the rubric of social science and higher education. We designed and conducted a pilot survey to identify students’ perspectives on the key issues and experiences of the use of distance-learning through an online virtual classroom in the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we applied a binary logistic regression model to real data from two different economics course exams to measure the short-term impacts of using the two different learning environments on the undergraduates’ performance outcomes. The results indicate a statistically significant negative impact of using virtual classrooms on undergraduate learning outcomes. By contrast, in-person traditional classrooms had more desirable learning outcomes. Moreover, the hybrid approach proved to be more effective than the use of online virtual classrooms alone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5263
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • COVID-19
  • blended teaching and learning
  • course design
  • face-to-face classroom
  • higher education
  • learning performance
  • undergraduate
  • virtual classroom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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