Blended Learning Strategies for Engaging Diverse Student Cohorts in Higher Education

Blended Learning Strategies for Engaging Diverse Student Cohorts in Higher Education

Josh McCarthy (University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/IJTEPD.2018070103

Abstract

This article explores blended learning strategies within teaching and learning higher education as a channel of addressing learner diversity. Three case studies were critically examined to highlight the efficacy of various blended learning techniques to improve students' learning experience. These blended learning techniques include online peer and staff feedback for formative assessment; online video and audio feedback for summative assessment; and a flipped classroom teaching model. Culturally, educationally, and socially diverse first year student cohorts participated in this study to provide insight into the advantages and disadvantages of each blended learning technique. Data on the effectiveness of these pedagogical and technological innovations were gathered through online surveys to address students' reflection of learning experience. Findings of these case studies are significant in light of the growing diversity found within student cohorts in higher education; as well as an increase in technology-driven teaching innovation and student-centred learning techniques.
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Case Study One: Utilising A Flippled Classroom For First Year Animation Students

In order to promote strong engagement with course material and interaction among peers, educators around the world utilise a vast array of teaching and learning formats, with recent emphasis being placed on student-centred learning (Aguti, Walters & Wills, 2014; Barman, 2013; Jonassen & Land, 2012). To achieve this purpose, educators are focussed on innovative teaching and learning styles - such as collaborative learning, problem-based learning and active learning and are exploring new technologies, such as learning management systems, social networking sites, video lectures and tutorials, wikis, blogs, MOOCs (massive online open courses) and OERs (open educational resources) (Vighnarajah, 2015).

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