Using Blended Learning To Improve Student Performance Education Essay

I have questioned the over accent of traditional schoolroom instruction to pupils who are at easiness with engineering. It continues to be an country of serious concern to me a lecturer/tutor. It is good known that today ‘s pupils are different from pupils who grew up in a non-technological textual universe of books and really small multi-media. These digital age scholars seem to be at easiness with engineering. If I am to do an impact on my pupils ‘ larning it is sensible for me to include engineering in my instruction.

I propose hence in this research undertaking to utilize blended acquisition where I can intermix the traditional face-to-face bringing manner of learning with the usage of the societal technologies- wiki, Edublogs, facebook, myspace, Google physician and electronic mail to supply for the online larning /virtual experience for pupils. By so making I hope to widen larning beyond the schoolroom and promote pupil battle in the acquisition procedure. It is my purpose to breed more communicating, coaction, creativeness and sharing information and thoughts among pupils in a short summer class at the UWI.

My end is to better pupil public presentation in category and in the concluding scrutiny in the MGMTO43 Information systems Design 11course. I believe that engineering, particularly societal engineerings, should be an built-in portion of learning in the twenty-first century

My research describes the attack I used to ease blended acquisition in this class. It identifies the challenges I faced, the infrastructural issues in the schoolroom assigned for the topic which negatively impacting on the original construct I had for class bringing ; the accommodations I had to do to finish the class, my pupils strategic behavior and demands made of me by them during the class. I besides analyse the responses to the pre-course and post-course studies which were undertaken by me and my contemplations as a consequence of making this undertaking. I believe that I have growing intellectually from the procedure and that I shall go on to polish my practice as a lector. I have learned from my pupils.

Chapter 1


My action research survey focuses on the inquiry: How can I utilize blended acquisition to better pupil public presentation in an undergraduate class at the University of the West Indies, Faculty of Social Sciences summer programme.

Chapter 2 explores the context of my survey sketching my experiences as a instructor in the instruction system of Trinidad and Tobago. It inside informations my entry in instruction and my early pattern as a instructor at modeling heads of pupils ; depicting my booby traps in footings of my pedagogical practice, the influences of my wise mans and the traditional attack to educating pupils in our instruction system. It goes on to briefly explicate the historical pattern by pedagogues of concentrating on the academically inclined pupils banishing those with different larning manners and describes to overemphasis by the society as a whole on pupil public presentations ( base on ballss ) in national scrutinies as a standard for success or failure of a school.

The chapter besides highlights the impact of my exposure to instruction theory and teaching/learning methodological analysiss which have transformed my attack to learning puting the pupil at the Centre of my pattern as a lector. It explores my involvement in engineering in instruction, peculiarly web2.0 societal engineerings and how these platforms positively impacts the teaching/learning dealing ; leting for coaction, communicating, creativeness and sharing of information, supplying for the development of larning communities.

I besides explore the construct of Digital Natives or Digital Age Learners and analyse blended acquisition as a teaching/learning methodological analysis from different positions, associating the thought to my grounds for utilizing action research to research intermixing larning as a method for bettering pupil public presentation.

Chapter 3 inside informations my methodological analysis in this undertaking. I explore briefly the positions of research in instruction, foregrounding the scientific, interpretative and action point of views. I seek to explicate why the interpretive attack is valid as a method in instruction research and why in the probe of ‘peoples ‘ or ‘students ‘ issues quantification as used in the scientific method may non be every bit valid as making, given the subjective issues involved. I discuss the nature of my research associating my experiences as a instructor at both the primary and secondary sectors and my actions as an pedagogue in the schoolroom.

I discuss in some item the research procedure in this survey, depicting the environment in which I functioned, the challenges I faced and how I overcame those challenges. I described my initial interaction with the pupils, the stairss I took to beg their understanding to take part in the survey, the paperss I used and their responses. I besides indentify the ethical issues involved in the survey and how I handled such issues.

Chapter 4 describes the action research procedure in some item. I provide a description of the continuance of the survey ; how the pupils responded, their concerns, the challenges I faced in the schoolroom based on the institutional agreements made for the class. I farther explained my premises with respect to what I perceived as basic demands for any blended acquisition activity e.g. pupils holding internet entree at place and in category ; the establishment supplying internet entree in the schoolroom and disposal efficiency. When such facilitations are absent the negative impacts on one ‘s program are important. I detailed some of these issues and how the pupils reacted. I explore issues which arose in the executing of the survey with mention to the teaching/learning dealing, the pupils concerns and how I negotiated solutions.

I detailed the pre-course questionnaire and findings and how these determination impacted the attack the survey. In supplying a comprehensive analysis of the questionnaire, I used a series of diagrammatic representations to demo the pupils ‘ responses to the single inquiries. This chapter besides gives a item history the Sessionss as they occurred and the issues I had to meet. Finally, a contemplation on this experience is provided.

Chapter 5 focal points on the discussion/analysis of the blended acquisition survey. I provide an history of the action research from the positions of the research inquiries by set abouting an analysis of each of the four research inquiries:

Does Blended Learning enhance pupil public presentation in the schoolroom?

How can I utilize a blended acquisition attack to better the schoolroom and scrutiny public presentation of pupils in the MGMT 043X class at UWI?

How do I reconstitute the MGMT 043X class content to heighten blended larning class bringing to aline with pupils larning manners?

Does a Blended Learning attack affect the acquisition manners of pupils?

In analysing each inquiry I seek to place the sentiments of the taking research workers and supply snapshots of their research, explicating my ain experiences, defects, accommodations made and contemplation on pupils ‘ public presentation in the short class on planing information systems.

I discuss my world in footings of the existent teaching/learning environment – the engineering, the institutional agreements and the accommodations I had to do in the context of the research inquiries. I besides remark to the responses the post-course study in footings of pupil responses to the issues they faced in a blended acquisition environment.

Chapter 2


2.1 My Experience as a Teacher/Lecturer

Teaching has been the chief profession I have engaged in throughout my life. I have been influenced by the best of instructors and the worst of instructors, both at primary every bit good as secondary degree. What is important to me, nevertheless, is the important impact, both consciously and unconsciously, instructors have on their pupils. As a instructor I have had to invariably oppugn my public presentation in the instruction /learning dealing because my major aim has ever been to guarantee that my pupils did good in their scrutinies. This was what mattered most since my category and my school was judged by society at big as a ‘good ‘ or ‘bad ‘ depending on the consequences of scrutinies ; whether Common Entrance or SSEC/CAPE. This was the ground I spent long hours in schoolrooms boring my pupils. As a college lector I perpetuated the same myth of difficult work and concern for my pupils by airing content and boring them on content. Yet I, like many of my co-workers complained bitterly when they underperformed in scrutinies.

The fact is that I was perpetuating an educational systemic job of non providing for the “ academically otherwise able ” pupils ; the persons who were slow, weak, had different acquisition manners and whose endowments I was unable to tap into because of my attacks to learning and larning. I failed many of my pupils, partially because of my ignorance and rawness in the theory and pattern of instruction. Drudy and Lynch, ( 1993 ) have commented on this systemic failure which continues to happen in our instruction system when they opined:

“ Failure in school is construed as a job of single incapacity: we blame the victim for the insufficiency of the system, and the victim in bend internalises a sense of personal failure through the uninterrupted experience of being labelled ” .

Why was I judged by the society and my braces in the profession as a ‘good ‘ or ‘bad ‘ teacher/lecturer depending on how many of my pupils performed magnificently in scrutinies? What caused this over accent on the per centum of pupils who passed their scrutinies from my category? Like so many other teachers/lecturers, the perceptual experience of “ excellence ” was linked to scrutiny base on ballss. Humphreys ( 1993 ) asserts that: “ instruction is non merely about developing rational and occupational accomplishments ; it is besides about assisting pupils to understand and value themselves. ”

These thoughts were merely non in my consciousness ; as were the other pedagogical issues ab initio, which were of small concern to me -how my pupils learn, my bringing manners, their acquisition manners, my method of pupil appraisal, my failure to implement group and independent acquisition, my ignorance of the impact of schoolroom environment, the important relationship between my pupils societal, environmental, psychological and cultural backgrounds which impacted on their ability to execute academically in the schoolroom.

I have since recognised the cardinal significance of each of these issues in the context of my pupils ‘ public presentation and the hugh impact each has on my function as teacher/lecturer. Over the past decennaries, I have been exposed to new thoughts and educational constructs about instruction and acquisition. I have agreed with ( Gardener, 1991 ) thoughts on multiple intelligences, ( Bloom, 1956 ) taxonomy, every bit good as Dale ‘s cone of experience among others. More late, I have been exposed to the theories and thoughts of instruction and acquisition in a formal scene as I undertake surveies and research at the University of the West Indies in Teaching and Learning in higher instruction. This alone experience has helped me to transform my original instruction doctrine leting me to be at a occasion where I believe that all instruction should be humanistic.

I focus on the pupil. I have besides recognized the cardinal function that engineering dramas in twenty-first century instruction. I am a truster in the power of web 2.0 ( O’reilly, 2005 ) societal engineerings in instruction in the context of advancing communicating, coaction, critical thought, creativeness, sharing, reaping of digital learning resources and the publicity of life-long acquisition. I am convinced that digital indigens ( Presnky, 2001 ) and digital age scholars ( ISTE, 2010 ) learn otherwise from digital immigrants and accordingly, I need to concentrate more on a constructivist attack to acquisition ; guiding, negociating and animating pupils to voyage their ain acquisition, leting for more student battle in the teaching/learning procedure.

The chief aim of my schoolroom dealing in higher instruction is to prosecute and act upon my pupils to get cognition ; to construct on their real-life experiences and to guarantee that they learn. As of import as scrutinies are, my focal point is on larning, in all its contexts. I have besides observed the impact that engineering is holding on my pupils in their day-to-day lives, particularly those 30 old ages and younger- Digital Natives or Digital Age Learners ( Prensky, 2001, ISTE, 2010 ) . As a effect, I have had to do accommodations to my schoolroom minutess. Broadcasting can no longer be my chief manner of learning nor can the blackboard be my chief tool for learning. I need to utilize a scope of learning manners, fiting my bringing with their acquisition manners and guarantee that I meet the diverse larning demands of my pupils.

It is against this background that I have embarked on this action research undertaking to happen out how I can utilize blended acquisition to better the public presentation of my pupils in an information engineering subject-Designing Information System II, a short class at the Summer School conducted by the Social Sciences Faculty of the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus.

My research focuses on how I shall utilize Blended Learning to assist better the public presentation of pupils in the MGMT 0433 Designing Information Systems II class so that they are successful at the end-of-course scrutiny. I shall seek to happen out what accounts for the successes I achieve, the challenges I face, the impact of blended acquisition on the pupils public presentation, their response to blended acquisition, their initial and post class constructs about the method, the institutional agreements which positively and negatively impact on the class aims and larning results, my pupils ‘ contemplations and eventually my ain analysis and contemplations on this experience.

2.2 What is Blended Learning?

In subjecting my proposal for this action research I opined the undermentioned thoughts: “ Traditional teacher-centric attacks allow for inactive response of educational content, do non aline with learning manners of many pupils, is teacher/classroom-centred, non pupil -centred, do non let for real-world experiences and by and large concentrate chiefly on summational appraisal. By itself, the traditional teacher-centric, airing attack to content bringing in higher instruction is non run intoing the varying demands of today ‘s technology-enriched digital age scholars, runing in an prosecuting technologically advanced societal environment.

More significantly, the cohort of mature working, parttime pupils who by and large entree the eventide programmes at higher acquisition establishments are hampered by the limited contact-time with the lector ( by and large 3 hours per hebdomad ) . There is a demand for such pupils to pass on with their lectors beyond the category room session ; whether in groups or separately, to be exposed to excess beginnings of content, both print and on-line, societal platforms for communicating, coaction and sharing of thoughts. Blended larning provides these advantages. ” I see blended acquisition as leting for the pupil to associate his/her acquisition manner with my methods of bringing in the schoolroom and besides enabling the communicating, coaction, sharing and co-authoring of content, thoughts, resources and solutions to inquiries in the MGMT 0344 class beyond the confines of the hebdomadal category and tutorial session.

The thought of the “ blend ” in acquisition is supported by ( Garnham and Kaleta, 2002 ; Singh, 2003 ; Bonk and Graham, 2005 ; Albrecht, 2006 ; Lloyd-Smith, 2009 ) . In a broader context Blended Learning is intercrossed larning normally defined as a mixture of traditional face-to-face acquisition with instructions together with the elements of engineering where online resources are created, organized and placed on Learning Management Systems ( LMS ) . The attack besides incorporates a scope of constructivist mechanisms including the placing of capable content, quizzes, mystifiers, games and simulations, usage of real-time and asynchronous treatments. In a blended acquisition method, larning content can be utilized from Webpages or Website-based learning objects or organized as online activities. This method is now been recognized as a major methodological analysis for improved pupil public presentation in higher instruction. The detonation of societal engineerings in instruction e.g. ( youtube, edutube, facebook, frickr, myspace, chirrup etc. ) used by digital indigens and to a lesser extent digital immigrants, and their positive impact on the higher instruction environment has necessitated a reconsideration of the bringing methods used in talk halls. The thought of anyplace, anytime larning is a world in higher instruction today. Blended learning environments provide the most important characteristics for this sort of larning. Based on the above thoughts, my action research seeks to happen out the relationship between the usage of a blended acquisition bringing manner and pupil public presentation in the MGMT 0344X class faculty.

2.3 Blended Learning: The Different Positions

a ) The Student & A ; Lecturer

There are different positions with regard to the context, usage and impact of blended acquisition as a methodological analysis of bringing in higher instruction. The thought of betterment in pupil public presentation is critical and besides indispensable. One finds in the literature, research on blended larning from the position of the scholar ( Chen & A ; Jones, 2007 ; Delialioglu and Yildirim, 2007 ; Orhan, 2007 ; Burgess, 2008 ; Greener, 2008 ; Jusoff, K. & A ; Khodabandelou, 2009 ; Lloyd-Smith, 2009 ; Miyazoe and Anderson, 2010 ) ; the instructor ( Draffan and Rainger, 2006 ; Robertson, 2008 ; Motteram & A ; Sharma, 2009 ; Miyazoe, & A ; Anderson,2010 ) ; the higher learning establishment ( Singh, 2003 ; Francis & A ; Raftery, 2005 ; Albrecht, 2006 ) and from pedagogic pattern and doctrine ( Shank,2002 ) .

A figure of surveies in the literature besides point to intermix acquisition as a mechanism for improved public presentation of pupils taking class faculties in higher instruction ( Gray, 1999 ; Black, 2002 ; Gunter, 2001 ; Sanders & A ; Morrison-Shetlar, 2001 ; Yildirim, 2005 ; Greener, 2008 ) . Although still in germinating phases, these action research surveies indicate the demand for alternate attacks to the bringing of classs and the debut of engineering in the teaching/ larning dealing. However, there is still a important function for the lector ; particularly in the beginning of a faculty when there is demand for counsel, way and motive ; when student-student coaction and larning community is non yet developed ( Greener, 2008 ) . She farther asserted that face-to-face Sessionss in the blended acquisition environment are critical and intense but non as frequent. The end is to heighten student-centred acquisition and autonomous acquisition.

Chen and Jones, ( 2007 ) make reference of lucidity of instructions in the traditional manner and a greater apprehension of the constructs in the blended manner. Thus a combination of clear instructions and greater apprehension of constructs could accrue if pupils are exposed to a blended acquisition environment. This thought is supported by ( Greener, 2008 ) who suggested that little group size was appropriate as a instruction scheme that dynamically mediated on-line treatment and offered encouragement and support, particularly in the preliminary phases of a class faculty. Though this is the ideal state of affairs it must be noted that blended acquisition can besides be used successfully in big categories.

Delialioglu and Yildirim, ( 2007 ) opined that blended larning bridged the properties of on-line instruction- efficiency, sufficiency and freedom to entree information anytime with the features of traditional schoolroom direction ; such as leting pupils to concentrate on new information presented in add-on to working with equals and teacher in category. The major focal point in both methods of delivery-traditional and online should be on faculty redesign to magnify the wagess of both manners of direction. This is critical to the improved public presentation required of pupils, since the purpose is ever to guarantee that the acquisition manners of all pupils in a category are activated, given the different manners of bringing and the exposure to engineerings that allow for sharing, coaction, equal coaching, communicating and contemplation.

Burgess, ( 2008 ) focused on blended acquisition from the position of its suitableness for parttime mature pupils. The impact of the first loop of the blended attack to a fiscal faculty resulted in 8 % betterment of parttime pupils ‘ Markss. Whereas 50 % of parttime pupils asked for clip extensions or grants for subjecting assignments antecedently, merely one asked in the first loop of blended acquisition. Students who missed categories because of work were less dying because the class content was available on Moodle.

The illation to be drawn from these findings is that there are a figure of positive results to pupils taking a class in higher instruction utilizing blended manner whether full-time or parttime. In the instance of parttime pupils the entree to content 24/7, the ability to work with equals in real-time and online, to pass on with lecturer/s in category and on-line, the ability to work in groups or equals in-class and online and the ability to develop learning communities are advantages which impact positively on their public presentation. There is go oning grounds, that blended acquisition does lend positively to student attitude and hence their public presentation in class faculties.

B ) Higher Learning Institutions & A ; Programs

The reappraisal so far has focused on blended acquisition from the position of the pupil. Higher acquisition establishments besides play a critical function in the development of blended acquisition to the extent that they can supply blended larning programmes to run into the many-faceted demands of their pupil population. Singh, ( 2003 ) focused chiefly on the holistic demands for a blended acquisition programme ( from an institutional point of view ) supplying what he calls the dimensions and ingredients for blended acquisition programmes. He besides seeks to supply a theoretical account for making what he calls the ‘appropriated blend ‘ in such programmes which trades both with the single class and jointly, the acquisition experience.

The findings suggest an institutional position is besides important to the thought of blended acquisition. The deductions here are notable in the context of instructional criterions for blended acquisition programms across higher acquisition establishments modules. His usage of ( Khan ‘s, 2005 ) Octagonal model is informative as it provides for a thorough usher for the production of blended larning programmes in higher acquisition establishments.

Albrecht, ( 2006 ) on the other manus dressed ores on the efforts by North American higher acquisition establishments to develop blended acquisition programmes ; He postulates careful planning, institutional support and a willingness of module to utilize engineering as the most critical elements for success in any such transmutation of class bringing manners ; foregrounding the demand for close attending to be paid the single differences and larning manners of pupils to give improved pupil public presentation.

( Francis & A ; Raftery, 2005 ) advocated the demand for rethinking the acquisition demands for today ‘s scholars in the context of the proviso of edifices which will advance acquisition, including blended acquisition. They opined that existent and practical acquisition environments are complementary and should let for seamless passage between the two by both lectors and pupils. They indicated the demand for coaction and entree to engineering services to supply a blended acquisition environment which promotes collaborative, student-centred, technology-enhanced acquisition which is institutionally derived and supported.

This attack is in sink with ( Singh, 2003 and Albretch, 2006 ) . There is hence a distinguishable focal point on the establishment as a driver and protagonist of blended acquisition at the macro degree to assist better pupil public presentation.

The literature alerts the reader to the broad scope of considerations which must be taken into history by higher instruction establishments which are engaged in the development of blend larning programmes. It besides focuses on the critical demands for the development of an attack rooted in the teaching method which facilitates the apprehension of the issues to be identified and clarified in order to use blended acquisition as a mechanism to help in the betterment of pupils ‘ performance.This analysis therefore identifies three positions from which to originate blended acquisition, whether a class or programme: 1. the student/lecturer, 2. the institution/course and 3. the engineering ; all of which aid to better pupils ‘ public presentation.

These thoughts would be used to find to what extent blended acquisition can better pupil public presentation in the MGMT 043X class in the 2010 Summer Programme of the St Augustine Campus. The information gathered would assist to find what characteristics of blended larning addition pupil ‘s public presentation and how the usage of ICT engineering impacts the teaching/learning.

Chapter 3


Chapter two contextualises my learning experience and how instruction.

Methodological issues are the topic of chapter three.

Chapter four trades with the research in item

In chapter five I examine the chief countries of apprehension and growing which I experienced as a consequence of the research

Chapter six concludes my research as I reflect on how I will better my pattern in the hereafter, the unsolved issues which arose during the research, and the strengths I have gained through my engagement with action research which will assist me to face future educational challenges.