Perspectives of Pre-Service Teachers About Blended Learning in Technology Integration Courses

Perspectives of Pre-Service Teachers About Blended Learning in Technology Integration Courses

Olha Ketsman (Northern Illinois University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJMBL.2019100102

Abstract

This mixed-methods study explores pre-service teachers' perspectives towards using blended learning in technology integration courses. Data were collected through surveys and interviews with pre-service teachers enrolled in technology integration courses in a large Midwestern university. Findings from the study showed that pre-service teachers had favorable perspectives towards using a blended learning approach to teach technology integration courses. The majority of pre-service teachers preferred that the technology-integration course adopt a blended format instead of a traditional face-to-face format; however, it is uncertain if students will be more motivated to study in a blended technology integration course than in a traditional face-to-face one. The study has implications for higher education faculty, instructional designers and technology specialists.
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Introduction

In recent years blended learning has gained more and more popularity in colleges and universities around the world. It has been associated with pedagogical innovation and a student-centered approach. Garrison & Kanuka (2004) define blended learning as “a thoughtful integration of classroom face-to-face learning experiences with online learning experiences” (p. 96). Many benefits are associated with blended learning, including its potential to strengthen higher order thinking skills (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004) and its emphasis on reorganization and reconceptualization of teaching and learning, causing educators to reflect on course design and delivery (Garrison and Kanuka, 2004). Garrison and Vaughan (2008) discussed key elements for successful blended learning, mentioning integration of face-to-face and online learning environments, restructuring and replacing traditional class contact hours and a careful rethinking of the course design to optimize student engagement. Gerbic (2003) argues for more research “to further investigate the relationships between beliefs about blended learning and practices” (p. 230). Little research has been conducted on the use of a blended learning approach in technology integration courses required in teacher preparation programs. In order to better prepare pre-service teachers for their future careers, it would be beneficial for students in technology integration courses to experience blended learning first hand as well as receive meaningful learning experiences combining two modalities: face-to-face and online. This study aims to explore pre-service teachers’ perspectives about using blended learning to teach technology integration courses. The following research questions guide the study:

  • 1.

    Quantitative:

    • a.

      What are pre-service teachers’ perspectives about use of blended learning to teach technology integration courses?

    • b.

      How do pre-service teachers’ previous learning experiences influence their perspectives on using blended learning to teach technology-integration courses?

  • 2.

    Qualitative:

    • a.

      How do pre-service teachers describe their perspectives towards blended learning in technology integration courses?

  • 3.

    Mixed Methods:

    • a.

      To what extent do the quantitative and qualitative data converge? How and Why?

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