Integrating Cooperative Learning into the Combined Blended Learning Design Model: Implications for Students' Intrinsic Motivation

Integrating Cooperative Learning into the Combined Blended Learning Design Model: Implications for Students' Intrinsic Motivation

Chantelle Bosch (Faculty of Education, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa), Elsa Mentz (Faculty of Education, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa) and Gerda Marie Reitsma (Centre for Health Professions Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/IJMBL.2019010105

Abstract

Extensive research has been done on the implementation of cooperative learning (CL) in a face-to-face classroom. However, only a few studies could be found on the implementation of CL in a blended learning environment. The implementation of CL in such an environment is a challenging goal for facilitators. It requires a commitment to change and the willingness to take risks, it takes time and requires planning. This article reports on research done to develop a holistic blended learning (BL) design model. The development of the model was based on a synthesis of a number of pedagogical models, which focus specifically on the integration of technology. The model was then used as a tool to design a module with the integration of CL in a BL environment. It was evident from the findings of the qualitative data that the students' intrinsic motivation (IM) improved after implementing the CL–BL module design.
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Problem Statement

The concept of blended learning (BL) is rooted in the idea that learning is a continuous process and not just a one-time event (Niemi, 2009). A single delivery mode inevitably limits the reach of a learning program or critical knowledge transfer in some form (Geçer, 2013). While BL is appealing to many because it enables one to take advantage of the ’best of both worlds’ (Gliner, Morgan, & Harmon, 2002), BL environments could also mix the least effective elements of both face-to-face and technology-mediated worlds if not designed well (Lindsay, 2004). One cannot simply transfer activities from traditional learning environments into a technology-mediated environment without taking the effect of technology on the course content into consideration (Ross, 2012). The BL mode should be designed based on insights regarding the understanding of the character and the nature of the students, and the preparation of content. Instructional design should furthermore take the experience and the prior knowledge of its self-directed students into consideration (Luppicini, 2007). BL could increase access and flexibility for learners, increase the level of active learning, and achieve improved student experiences and outcomes (Saliba, Rankine, & Cortez. 2013).

In BL environments, face‐to‐face and online learning should be integrated optimally in such a way that the strengths of each are blended into one (Graham, 2009). If the traditional mode of delivery has always been face-to-face, when moving towards BL, lecturers should start to integrate technology in their classrooms. However, BL is not merely the integration of technology in the classroom or identifying the right blend of technologies to increase student access to learning opportunities. It rather requires the facilitator to create a transformative environment where critical and complex learning skills could be developed (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004). Thus, in a BL environment, the use of technology transitions from being a great teaching tool to being the actual learning space where the collaboration and sharing occur (Cooke, 2013). The component of collaboration and the shift from teacher-centred to student-centred interaction are central to BL (McDonald, 2012). The collaborative component of BL was attended to in a cooperative learning environment, and the principles of CL were taken in consideration throughout the study.

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