Higher Learning Research Communications

Digital Object Identifier



Jeffrey H. Kuznekoff, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1740-1180, Stevie M. Munz, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9089-9915


Objectives: This study examines how the transition to remote delivery during the spring of 2020 affected student learning in the basic communication course.

Methods: Participants in three different course delivery modes (face-to-face, online, and live interactive) were enrolled in a public speaking course with standardized adaptive reading quizzes, exams, and speech assignments. Participants completed several measures over the course of the semester and had their responses paired up with their end-of-semester grade book data.

Results: Results of this study indicate that students who were enrolled in a face-to-face course and transitioned online during the COVID-19 pandemic were outperformed by online and learning interactive students in several of the standardized assignments in the course.

Conclusions: Overall, face-to-face (FtF) students performed four percentage points lower in the course than the learning interactive and online groups while also demonstrating more emotional interest in the course than the other two groups.

Implication for Theory and/or Practice: In future transitions to remote learning, FtF students may experience greater disruption than existing online students. Instructors should be mindful of this finding in transitioning to remote learning during the semester.