Integrating Blended Learning into Situational Writing for Vocational High School Students

Integrating Blended Learning into Situational Writing for Vocational High School Students

Hsiu-Ling Yen (Kaohsiung Municipal San-Min Home Economics & Commerce Vocational High School, Kaohsiung, Taiwan), Shi-Jer Lou (National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung, Taiwan) and Ru-Chu Shih (National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/ijopcd.2013070106
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Abstract

This study aims to explore vocational high school students’ attitudes toward integrating blended learning into situational writing, and the learning effectiveness of that integration. A total of 84 vocational high students were divided into an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group received writing instruction through an online platform, whereas the control group received writing instruction in traditional classrooms. Attitude toward writing and writing performance were assessed before and after the experiment. Also, learning satisfaction survey was conducted afterwards. The findings of this study reveal that results of the post-test total scores and behavior are significantly higher than the pre-test total scores and behavior results for both the experimental and control groups. Particularly, organization, language usage, and the overall performance in the students’ writings are significantly improved. Scores for affection and behavior and total scores for attitude toward writing are significantly higher for the experimental group than for the control group. Both groups show significant satisfaction with the instructional method, interactivity, and total grades.
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Literature Review

Blended Learning

The official website of the New South Wales Department of Education and Training in Australia defines blended learning as follows: “Blended learning is the learning method combining online and face-to-face learning (https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/home/).” Several scholars suggest that blended learning can categorized into three types: a combination of different instructional media (Bersin & Associates, 2003; Singh & Reed, 2001); a combination of different instructional strategies (Driscoll, 2002; House, 2002; Rossett, 2002); and a combination of different instructional environments (Reay, 2001; Rooney, 2003; Ward & LaBranche, 2003; Young, 2002). Blended learning combines online instruction and traditional face-to-face instruction. The two definitions above indicate the importance of instructional media and strategies. This study considers the combination of different instructional environments. Thus, the researchers define blended learning as “the instruction which combines traditional lecture with online learning and other technology.”

“Blended learning” often refers to a course methodology or learning activity that combines online and traditional face-to-face instruction (de Leng, Dolmans, Donkers, Muijtjens, & van der Vleuten, 2010). So and Brush (2008) claimed that blended learning is effective in facilitating online collaborative learning. Additionally, a supportive peer-assisted learning environment with interactive feedback can help learners reflect on their professional and evidence-based practice (Lou et al., 2012; Tan, Ladyshewsky, & Gardner, 2010). According to McCarthy (2010), the benefits of blended learning spaces include face-to-face discussions: “the assessment allowed us to converse with others in class and form connections that developed into friendships.” Blended learning combines the advantages of traditional instruction and online learning. The instructional content is lively and diverse. In addition, blended learning that integrates online and face-to-face instruction could create an effective teaching and learning experience for both instructors and students. It could also enhance students' motivation to participate actively in class (Chang et al., 2011; Shih, 2010, Shih 2011). Furthermore, Liu, Lee, Huang, and Hsieh (2012) pointed out that students made significant progress on their Chinese essay writing with online interaction writing system whereas the traditional face-to-face instruction did not.

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