To Be or Not to Be Successful?: That Does Not Only Depend on Technology, But Also on Human Factors

To Be or Not to Be Successful?: That Does Not Only Depend on Technology, But Also on Human Factors

Ana María Pinto Llorente (Pontifical University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain), María Cruz Sánchez Gómez (University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain) and Francisco José García-Peñalvo (Computer Science Department, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/JCIT.2015010104
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Abstract

The increase of blended learning education has been identified as an important goal in improving teaching-learning technological models. However, when considering this development it becomes essential to take into account the potential characteristics that students must have to be successful in this kind of education. This study is based on this human aspect. Thus, the authors have focused on learners and the fundamental qualities that they must have to study English via a hypermedia modular model and get their goals. Based on the results of this research the authors can indicate that characteristics like reasonable computer skills, ability to work both individually and in groups, capability of being organized and tenacious in their learning, a high level of academic maturity and a reasonable competence in English that allows them to be autonomous in their learning are essential features to be successful in this type of education.
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1. Introduction

In the last decades the development of technology has resulted in a convergence in two learning environment: the traditional face-to-face learning and the distributed learning systems (Coaten, 2003; García-Peñalvo, 2008; López & Matesanz, 2009). The combination of these two teaching-learning models has led to the development of the blended learning instruction that according to Graham (2006:5) can be defined as ‘(…) part of the ongoing convergence of two archetypal learning environments. On one hand, we have the traditional face-to-face learning environment that has been around for centuries. On the other hand, we have distributed learning environments that have begun to grow and expand in exponential ways as new technologies have expanded the possibilities for distributed communication and interaction’. The direct consequence of the convergence of these two learning environments is the development of a different kind of education that exploits the advantages of both types of instruction (García & García, 2005; Graham, 2006; Osguthorpe & Graham, 2003). On one hand, there are face-to-face interactions between teachers and students due to the different face-to-face activities in which they meet in a certain place and in a strict timetable in order to carry out the different lessons previously defined. And on the other hand, the different synchronous and asynchronous technologies (chat, forum, wiki, online glossary or online questionnaires) facilitate the distribution of contents, learning experiences and interaction between the participants of the teaching-learning process without sharing the same time and physical place. As Thorne (2003:18) points out ‘blended learning represents a real opportunity to create learning experiences that can provide the right learning at the right time and in the right place for each and every individual, not just at work, but in schools, universities and even at home. It can be truly universal, crossing global boundaries and bringing groups of learners together through different cultures and time zones. In this context blended learning could become one of the most significant developments of the 21st century’.

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