Create a fine blend: An examination of institutional transition to blended learning
Keywords:blended learning, digital technology, e-learning, online learning
AbstractHigher education institutions across the globe are increasing the extent to which they teach in a blended mode. However, in the rush to transition to blended teaching, institutions often fail to systematically review their transition process. Via a case study of one institution’s transition to blended teaching, this paper aims to assist other institutions make similar transitions. Numerous recommendations for how institutions can advance their transition to blended learning are deduced. The investigation triangulates three data sets collected from: (1) methodical observation of the learning management system (LMS); (2) interviews with unit coordinators; and (3) a large-scale student survey. It was found that although both students and academics were receptive to blended learning, neither had a clear understanding of what it was. There is wide variability in the structure and quality of blended units and LMS sites. Lifting the standard of poorer quality blended units requires considerable investment to provide academics with time and resources. Students were on average satisfied with the online aspect of blended learning; they were particularly satisfied with procedural efficiencies, but less so with socially interactive aspects of learning. Overall, blended learning appears to enhance engagement, providing more avenues for students to engage with learning materials.
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