Research Article

Face-To-Face, Online and Hybrid Education: University Students’ Opinions and Preferences

Kleopatra Nikolopoulou 1 *
More Detail
1 Department of Early Childhood Education, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, GREECE* Corresponding Author
Journal of Digital Educational Technology, 2(2), 2022, ep2206,
Published: 19 August 2022
OPEN ACCESS   3280 Views   6555 Downloads
Download Full Text (PDF)


Although there is a growing number of studies with regard to the forced transition to online education during the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer studies regard students’ perceptions on different modes of education or a comparison among these. The purpose of this study was to investigate university students’ opinions and preferences regarding face-to-face, online and hybrid modes of education, soon after their return to traditional face-to-face classes. The participants were 24 Greek students and data were collected via semi-structured interviews. Perceived benefits of face-to-face education include immediacy with teachers, socialization, and interactions, as well as students’ active participation, while the major perceived disadvantage is the demanding timetable. Perceived benefits of online education include the time and space flexibility, followed by familiarity with digital technology, while negative opinions regard technical problems and loss of practical classes. Positive perceptions about hybrid education are often linked to combining the benefits of face-to-face and online education. Students’ preferences for their future education highlight both face-to-face and hybrid education. Implications for university practices-policies, and recommendations for adoption of hybrid-blended modes of education are discussed.


Nikolopoulou, K. (2022). Face-To-Face, Online and Hybrid Education: University Students’ Opinions and Preferences. Journal of Digital Educational Technology, 2(2), ep2206.


  1. Aristovnik, A., Keržič, D., Ravšelj, D., Tomaževič, N., & Umek, L. (2020). Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on life of higher education students: A global perspective. Sustainability, 12(20), 8438.
  2. Bond, M., Buntins, K., Bedenlier, S., Zawacki-Richter, O., & Kerres, M. (2020). Mapping research in student engagement and educational technology in higher education: a systematic evidence map. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 17(2), 1-30.
  3. Bozkurt, A. (2022). Resilience, adaptability, and sustainability of higher education: A systematic mapping study on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the transition to the new normal. Journal of Learning for Development, 9(1), 1-16.
  4. Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. Pearson.
  5. Finlay, M. J., Tinnion, D. J., & Simpson, T. (2022). A virtual versus blended learning approach to higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic: The experiences of a sport and exercise science student cohort. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, 30, 100363.
  6. García-González, A., Aznar-Diaz, I., Ramírez-Montoya, M. S., & Romero-Rodríguez, J. M. (2022). Needs and expectations of university students: Learning from the impact of Covid-19 upon 9 Spanish universities. Issues in Educational Research, 32(1), 126-148.
  7. Gorghiu, G., Pribeanu, C., Manea, V.I., Lamanauskas, V., & Makarskaitė-Petkevičienė, R. (2021). The usefulness of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic as perceived by engineering education students: A multidimensional model. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 20(5), 716-728.
  8. Iqbal, S.A., Ashiq, M., Rehman, S.U., Rashid, S., & Tayyab, N. (2022). Students’ perceptions and experiences of online education in Pakistani universities and higher education institutes during COVID-19. Education Sciences, 12(3), 166.
  9. Keane, T., Linden, T., Hernandez-Martinez, P., & Molnar, A. (2022). University students’ experiences and reflections of technology in their transition to online learning during the global pandemic. Education Sciences, 12(7), 453.
  10. Khan, S., Kambris, M. E. K., & Alfalahi, H. (2022). Perspectives of university students and faculty on remote education experiences during COVID-19-a qualitative study. Education and Information Technologies, 27, 4141-4169.
  11. Lee, I. C. J., Wong, P., Goh, S. P. L., & Cook, S. (2022). A synchronous hybrid team-based learning class: why and how to do it? Medical Science Educator, 32, 697-702.
  12. Li, D. (2022). The shift to online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic: Benefits, challenges, and required improvements from the students’ perspective. The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 20(2), 1-18.
  13. Malik, N., & Dahiya, M. (2021). A survey of teachers’ and students’ perspective on e-learning during COVID-19 in Delhi. MIER Journal of Educational Studies Trends and Practices, 11(2), 200-222.
  14. Nikolopoulou, K. (2022). Οnline education in early primary years: Teachers’ practices and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Education Sciences, 12(2), 76.
  15. Nikolopoulou, K., & Kousloglou, M. (2022). Online teaching in COVID-19 pandemic: Secondary school teachers’ beliefs on teaching presence and school support. Education Sciences, 12(3), 216.
  16. Paudel, P. (2021). Online education: Benefits, challenges and strategies during and after COVID-19 in higher education. International Journal of Studies in Education, 3(2), 70-85.
  17. Pettigrew, J. E., & Howes, P. A. (2022). COVID-19 and student perceptions toward a swift shift in learning format: does experience make a difference? American Journal of Distance Education.
  18. Pongkendek, J. J., Ahmar, D. S., Munandar, H., & Azzajjad, M. F. (2021). Student perceptions of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. EduLine: Journal of Education and Learning Innovation, 2(1), 1-16.
  19. Sachyani, D., Yarom, H., & Gal, A. (2022). Perceptions of the Book Creator’s role as a forefront of SEL during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pedagogical Research, 7(4), em0133.
  20. Salta, K., Paschalidou, K., Tsetseri, M., & Koulougliotis, D. (2022). Shift from a traditional to a distance learning environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Science & Education, 31, 93-122.
  21. Stewart, W. H., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2021). Experiences and perceptions of exchange students learning online during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Korea: An exploratory descriptive study. Asian Journal of Distance Education, 16(1), 119-140.
  22. Stewart, W. H., Baek, Y., & Lowenthal, P. (2022). From emergency remote teaching (ERT) to sustained remote teaching (SRT): A comparative semester analysis of exchange students’ experiences and perceptions of learning online during COVID-19. Online Learning, 26(2), 170-197.
  23. Sullivan, P. M. (2022). From the student perspective: An analysis of in-person, hybrid, and online learning during the pandemic. In P. Sullivan, B. Sullivan, & J. Lantz (Eds.), Cases on innovative and successful uses of digital resources for online learning (pp. 80-95). IGI Global.
  24. Van der Graaf, L., Dunajeva, J., Siarova, H., & Bankauskaite, R. (2021). Research for CULT Committee–Education and youth in post-COVID-19 Europe–Crisis effects and policy recommendations. European Parliament, Policy Department for Structural and Cohesion Policies.
  25. Vital López, L., Zamora-Antuñano, M.A., Cruz-Pérez, M.A., Rodríguez Reséndíz, J., Fuentes Ramírez, F., Paredes García, W.J., Rodríguez Reséndiz, H., Cruz Ramírez, M., & García García, R. (2022). The impacts of COVID-19 on Technological and Polytechnic University students in Mexico. Sustainability, 14(10), 6087.
  26. Zacharis, G., & Nikolopoulou, K. (2022). Factors predicting university students’ behavioral intention to use eLearning platforms in the post-pandemic normal: An UTAUT2 approach with ‘learning value’. Education and Information Technologies.
  27. Zagkos, C., Kyridis, A., Kamarianos, I., Dragouni, Κ. E., Katsanou, A., Kouroumichaki, E., Papastergiou, N., & Stergianopoulos, E. (2022). Emergency remote teaching and learning in Greek universities during the COVID-19 pandemic: The attitudes of university students. European Journal of Interactive Multimedia and Education, 3(1), e02207.
  28. Zapata-Cuervo, N., Montes-Guerra, M. I., Hailey Shin, H., Jeong, M., & Cho, M.-H. (2021). Students’ psychological perceptions toward online learning engagement and outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic: A comparative analysis of students in three different countries. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education.