A Mixed Methods Study Of Faculty Views Toward Blended Learning

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This mixed methods study focused on faculty attitudes …

This mixed methods study focused on faculty attitudes
toward blended learning at a major research university. The qualitative analysis showed different views on the pedagogy. The survey data revealed faculty with more favorable attitudes toward blended learning were more computer literate, were encouraged by colleagues, and reported favorable support services.

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  • 1. A MIXED METHODS STUDY OF FACULTY VIEWS TOWARD BLENDED LEARNING Reid Robison, Ph.D. Research Professor, College of Business Administration Brigham Yong University Provo, Utah Nataliya Ivankova, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Human Studies University of Alabama-Birmingham Sheldon Stick, Ph.D. Professor Department of Educational Administration University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • 2. Problem
    • Understand attitudes and experiences of instructional personnel at BYU who had or were involved with creating and teaching blended learning (hybrid) courses.
    • Did hybrid learning options allow for effectively reaching large numbers of students who might have been excluded under other circumstances?
    • BYU had a cap of 29,300 students. In excess of 12,000 not able to attend.
  • 3. INSTRUCTORS’ ATTITUDES TOWARD BLENDED LEARNING
    • Major research university
    • Mixed methods
    • Qualitative Phase First
      • 10 in-depth interviews.
      • Persons developing and teaching blended learning courses to upper level undergraduate and graduate classes.
        • A multi-case research design.
        • Sought to understand experiences of designing and delivering by cross-case comparisons.
  • 4. Design Benefits
    • Strengthen precision, validity, and stability of findings (Miles & Huberman, 1994).
    • Enhancing generalizability (Merriman, 2001).
    • Interviews tested and discovered knowledge – led to expanding the base and challenged existing information.
  • 5. Sample Frame
    • Disciplines represented by interviewees.
    • Accounting Information Systems
    • Humanities Instructional Psychology
    • Physical Sciences Organizational Behavior
    • Psychology
    • - Participants recommended by institutional
    • stakeholders.
    • - Lists compared and most frequent names chosen.
    • - All experienced with blended learning.
  • 6. Instrumentation
    • Qualitative- Researcher
    • - Had been a blended learning instructor.
    • - Secured IRB approvals.
    • - Carefully observed and took notes.
    • - Audio recorded interviews.
    • - Semi-structured and open-ended questions.
    • - Researcher’s prior publication revealed student concerns about: benefits, challenges and how addressed, goals and how assessed, and generation and sustainment of motivation .
    • (Robison & Cottrell, 2003, Quar. Rev. Dis. Ed .)
  • 7. Instrumentation (continued)
    • Retrospective - no direct observation.
    • Piloted interview questions with six persons.
    • - Triangulated by having interviewees validate contents.
    • Permission obtained for quotations.
    • Interviewee confidentiality preserved.
    • Controlled duration of interviews to 70-minutes.
    • Same sequence of questions.
    • Security of stored data.
  • 8. Qualitative Analyses
    • - Professional typist transcribed.
    • - Transcripts and notes studied.
    • - Coded emerging themes.
    • - Sought to reduce data to similarities.
    • - 10 transcripts reviewed for theme contents by researcher and impartial & experienced qualitative researcher.
  • 9. Quantitative Survey
    • Quantitative Second Phase
    • - Predicated on findings from interviews.
    • - Delphi process for survey development.
    • - Piloted survey among ‘experts’ from three areas within institution.
    • - Distributed to 1600 faculty persons.
    • - Sought confirmation of qualitative findings.
    • - Obtained IRB approvals for second phase.
  • 10. Quantitative Phase
    • 561 useable responses to survey (35.1%).
    • 189 had taught a hybrid course.
    • Age ranges: 21-70+.
    • Averaged 13.5 years at BYU
    • 74.4% M; 24.6% F.
    • Teaching Assistant through Full Professor.
    • 20 item survey
      • 3 on instructor self effectiveness
      • 5 on perceived effectiveness for students.
      • 6 time efficiency for instructors and students.
      • 4 on support areas.
      • 2 on degree of difficulty of blended learning course.
  • 11. Data Comparisons
    • High agreements to interviews for survey items 1-3 (self effectiveness) and items 16, 17 & 18 (institutional supports).
    • Items 9 & 11 (flexibility and time involved) had 40% and 28 % agreements and were in accord with interviews.
  • 12. Data Analysis for Survey
    • SPSS statistical program.
    • Items correlated to each other.
    • Questions framed from positive on blended learning – resulted in many positive correlations at .05 levels.
    • Not showing significant correlations:
        • #4 – difficulty getting to know students.
        • #8 - students’ able to focus and not be distraction.
    • #13 –need for more time
  • 13. Findings
    • Why blended learning - Interviews
      • Desire to improve teaching/learning process.
      • Improve efficiency.
      • Become technologically current.
      • Survey analysis: most instructors in agreement it helped them be more efficient and in ‘vogue’, and that students learned more efficiently.
  • 14. Findings (continued)
    • Blended Learning Defined – Interviews
        • Not consistently explained.
        • Not in agreement for use of class time.
        • Some interviewees permitted one F:F
        • Survey analysis: 180 of the 569 employed blended learning and just 30 used it as a substitute for class time. Some also used just one F:F.
  • 15. Findings (continued)
    • Extensive latitude allowed regarding how instructors interpreted/defined and used blended learning – for interviewees and others.
    • Instructor Goals – interviews
      • 7 of 10 claimed to have been self-taught and blended learning allowed them to experiment with technology.
      • Serve students – better prepare them for future, and it helped foster learning.
  • 16. Findings (continued)
    • Specific Goals:
    • - Wanted more technology instruction.
    • - Blended learning considered a vehicle to mitigate dropouts .
    • - Avoid needing to re-teach after class.
    • - Get more students into courses/programs.
    • - Enhance access to information explosion.
    • - Students learning instead of memorization.
  • 17. Reported Benefits
    • From 10 Interviewees:
    • Richer learning contexts Enhanced flexibility
    • Cultivate teaming More personalized contacts
    • Saved time Improved independence
    • Saved resources Better technology usage
  • 18. Challenges
    • From 10 Interviewees
    • - Not appropriate for all students.
    • - Effectiveness hindered by technology (lacking).
    • - Not always well explained to students.
    • - Required more instructor time.
    • - Incentives lacking for instructors.
    • - Student evaluations declined.
  • 19. Conclusions
    • No indication blended learning was more or less effective than conventional learning contexts.
    • Students should be prescreened for such courses.
    • Instructors should have design teams assigned to them and sufficient training be given.
    • Consider instructors’ aptitude for
    • using technology.
    • Academic units needed to endorse
    • such efforts .
  • 20. Conclusions (continued)
    • Qualitative - different views on pedagogy.
    • Quantitative:
    • - Computer literate were more favorable toward the pedagogy.
    • - Had been encouraged to do so.
    • - Reported favorable results.
  • 21. QUESTIONS