Experiences and Perceptions of Learner Engagement in Blended Learning Environments: The Case of an Australian University

Linda De George-Walker (University of Southern Queensland, Australia), Abdul Hafeez-Baig (University of Southern Queensland, Australia), Raj Gururajan (University of Southern Queensland, Australia), and P. A. Danaher (University of Southern Queensland, Australia)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 43
EISBN13: 9781616921316|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-880-2.ch002
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One of the most significant challenges in learning and teaching is to maximize successful and sustainable learner engagement. The growing literature about blended learning environments and technologies provides plenty of scope for an interrogation of the intersection between learner engagement and blended learning. This chapter takes up that interrogation by presenting the case of the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. The chapter focuses on three postgraduate courses offered by the institution: two in the Faculty of Business and the other in the Faculty of Education; and each course representing a different position along the continuum from blended to fully online. The chapter presents a detailed examination of all three courses in relation to design, development, and management, informed by a conceptualization of blended learning as it intersects with learner engagement. Several types of evidence are deployed in evaluating the courses against the assembled information about experiences and perceptions of learner engagement and blended learning communicated by students, academic staff members, and program administrators. This evidence suggests some significant implications for the ongoing theorization of blended learning, how its effectiveness can be maximized, and what its connections with learner engagement are and should be.
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