The COVID-19 pandemic created an exigency for educators to reevaluate their approaches to the classroom with one major dimension being course modality. This study uses the Instructional Beliefs Model to examine the impacts of course modality (i.e., hybrid versus face-to-face formats) and students’ communication growth mindset on student engagement in the foundational public speaking course. Consistent with pre-COVID-19 findings, the results indicated that modality does not significantly impact student engagement, with one exception: higher cognitive interest scores were reported among students in the hybrid modality. Communication growth mindset associated positively with all student engagement variables examined: student interest–emotional, student interest–cognitive, participation, and class rapport. The findings offer tentative optimism about the promise of blended public speaking course modalities, and evidence for the necessity of mindset intervention to maximize student success.



Author ORCID Identifier

Katherine J. Denker: 0000-0002-1883-7066

Kendra Knight: 0000-0002-9242-5350