Blended Learning in Higher Education: A Developing Country Perspective

Blended Learning in Higher Education: A Developing Country Perspective

Amir Manzoor
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2399-4.ch006
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This chapter aims to explore Pakistani students' perspective on an appropriate mix of online and-face-to-face activities in different courses offered at various UK universities. Identifying aspects that students evaluate as supportive, challenging and efficient in their learning is important for the design of an appropriate mix in blended learning courses. A questionnaire was provided to the respondents consisting of both open-ended and closed questions. Applying both statistical and content analysis, this chapter provides a deeper understanding of students' responses and concludes that blended learning is an approach that supports a range of learning styles and life styles.
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Literature Review

There exist gaps in students’ experience of blended learning. This study uses the definition of blended learning provided by Garrison and Vaugham (2008) and Tselios, Daskalakis and Papadopoulou (2011). According to them, blended learning refers to integrating valuable aspects of both conventional and non-conventional methods of learning where the interaction between teachers and students can take place with or without the use of technology. Blended learning can combine different methods of learning (such as face-to-face and online methods) to create different ways of learning (Wu, Tennyson & Hsia, 2010; Lim, Morris, & Kupritz, 2014). Blended learning can ‘blend’ different forms of instructional technology and classroom teaching. Tselios et al. (2011) develops the claim that blended learning can integrate advantages of online and traditional learning. The findings of De George-Walker & Keeffe (2010), Vaughan and Garrison (2005), and Daouk, Bahous, Bacha, and Blessinger (2016) lend support to the claim of Tselios et al. (2011). According to them, blended learning goes beyond the simple integration of conventional and non-conventional methods of learning. Vaughan and Garrison (2005) argues that effective blended learning leverages strengths of both conventional and non-conventional methods of learning to facilitate achieving greatest learning outcomes for students (Waha & Davis, 2014).

El Mansur and Mupinga (2007) argue that students enjoy certain aspects of blended learning including schedule flexibility, interactivity, and availability of teachers. Garrison and Vaughan, (2008) extends this argument by saying that blended learning increases the quality and quantity of interaction among students and teachers. The findings of Pinto de Moura (2010) and Akhter (2015) lend further support for this argument. They found that 24-hour online availability of teacher combined with physical presence of teacher in the classroom provides new level of interaction that students found beneficial.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Learning Community: Refers to a group of people who share common academic goals and attitudes, who meet semi-regularly to collaborate on classwork.

Blended Learning: Refers to a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace.

Pedagogies: Refers to the methods and practices of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.

Optimal Learning: Refers to learning attained when the learner can command the new information to create valuable outcomes.

Content Analysis: Refers to a research technique used to make replicable and valid inferences by interpreting and coding textual material.

Higher Education: Refers to education at universities or similar educational establishments, especially to degree level.

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