Blended Learning Examples in Education and Chemistry

Blended Learning Examples in Education and Chemistry

Robert Hogan (University of the South Pacific, Fiji)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-479-0.ch005
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Abstract

The blended revolution that has empowered students in developing nations is just now spreading to developing countries. With improved Internet access, students in these regions now have opportunities to experience blended and mobile learning, creating new markets in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific for universities that offer blended programs. Unlike the e-learning revolution of the 90s that was dominated by for-profit institutions, public universities will be major competitors for international students wishing to earn foreign degrees. The Asian Development Bank report (2008) emphasizes that it is essential for economic development to provide increased numbers of skilled workers. Blended and mobile learning can assist countries with increased educational access and online providers opportunities to reach new international markets. Another emerging market for blended and mobile learning in developing countries is the untrained teacher. Until recently, adequate Internet access was not available to some regions most needing increased educational access. Now, the technology is falling into place to support blended and mobile learning. This chapter discusses two international blended and mobile learning courses—an undergraduate chemistry course and a graduate education course for teachers in online learning—being delivered to developing countries in the Pacific. The chapter focuses on instructional design, cultural considerations, technical issues, and initial findings.
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Definitions Of Blended And Mobile Learning

The term blended learning in this chapter refers to courses delivered with a mix of online and face-to-face sessions. Approximately 80% of the two courses described in this chapter were delivered online. This proportion best met the needs of the students for ease of access and the university for cost of delivery. The term online, which is used interchangeably with eLearning, refers to a highly interactive, student-centered learning, method that uses both synchronous and asynchronous learning to actively engage students, allowing them to take more responsibility for their learning. The teaching style employs problem-based discussions, individual activities, and team projects that empower students to set personal learning goals (Pedersen & Liu, 2003).

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