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[EADTU-ENQA PLA] Blended learning courses in higher education: state of play

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Presentation by Stijn Van Laer (KU Leuven) during the EADTU-ENQA Peer Learning Activity in Brussels on 21-22 September 2017

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[EADTU-ENQA PLA] Blended learning courses in higher education: state of play

  1. 1. Blended learning courses in higher education: state of play Stijn Van Laer Centre for Instructional Psychology and Technology, KU Leuven EADTU-ENQA Peer Learning Activity Quality Assurance of blended and online programmes
  2. 2. Outline • Three premises about media and technology in education; • Conceptualization of BL; • Current BL landscape; • Operationalization of BL; • Possible affordances and current constraints of BL; • Potential future of BL practise.
  3. 3. Premise 1: Media “The use of media does make a difference. Showing images and text ensures that learners learn more and other things.” Mayer, R. E. (2008). Applying the science of learning: Evidence-based principles for the design of multimedia instruction. American psychologist, 63(8), 760.
  4. 4. Premise 2: Technology “As to the learning effect, we know that when, for example, pictures are shown, it does not make any difference if they are displayed on a computer screen or on paper.” Clark, R. E. (1994). Media will never influence learning. Educational technology research and development, 42(2), 21-29.
  5. 5. Premise 3: Technology in education “Selection of the technology used is based on its ability to support essential instructional components, which in turn support essential cognitive activities.” Sugrue, B., & Clark, R. E. (2000). Media selection for training. Training and retraining: A handbook for business, industry, government, and the military, 208-234.
  6. 6. Blended learning
  7. 7. Blended learning Conceptualizations • Blend of instructional methods; • Blend in modalities or delivery media; • Blend of face-to-face and computer-mediated instruction. “…is learning that happens in an instructional context which is characterized by a deliberate combination of online and classroom-based interventions to instigate and support learning.” (Boelens, Van Laer, De Wever, & Elen, 2015) Boelens, R., Van Laer, S., De Wever, B., & Elen, J. (2015). Blended learning in adult education: towards a definition of blended learning. (see also: Bliuc, Goodyear, & Ellis, 2007; Driscoll, 2002; Graham, Allen, & Ure, 2005)
  8. 8. Blended learning landscape The majority of higher-ed institutions have established blended learning courses. More than half of the institutions applied it in ‘some’ faculties or by ‘individual teachers’. EUA studies identified that even within frontrunner institutions only 20% or less of the courses are blended. Gaebel, M., Kupriyanova, V., Morais, R., & Colucci, E. (2014). E-Learning in European Higher Education Institutions: Results of a Mapping Survey Conducted in October-December 2013. European University Association. (see also: Sursock, 2015) … no clear directions and mainly depending on local initiatives …
  9. 9. Blended learning Operationalization “The challenge is the effective integration of the two main components in such a way that it is not just adding on to the existing dominant approach or method.” (Garrison, & Kanuka, 2004) Garrison, D. R., & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. Internet and Higher Education, 7 (2), 95–105.
  10. 10. Depending on this operationalization…
  11. 11. Possible affordances “best of both worlds” (Morgan, 2002; Young, 2002) (1) more effective pedagogy; (2) increased convenience and access; (3) increased cost effectiveness. Graham, C. R., Allen, S., & Ure, D. (2005). Benefits and challenges of blended learning environments. In Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, First Edition (pp. 253-259). IGI Global.
  12. 12. Possible affordances “best of both worlds” (Morgan, 2002; Young, 2002) (1) more effective pedagogy; (2) increased convenience and access; (3) increased cost effectiveness. Graham, C. R., Allen, S., & Ure, D. (2005). Benefits and challenges of blended learning environments. In Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, First Edition (pp. 253-259). IGI Global.
  13. 13. More effective pedagogy Mean, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R. F., & Baki, M. (2013). The effectiveness of online and blended learning: A meta-analysis of the empirical literature. Teachers College Record, 115 (3) “Studies on blended instruction found larger advantages relative to face-to-face and purely online instruction, suggesting that these blended learning settings tended to involve more learning time, additional resources, and course elements that encourage interactions among learners.” (Mean, Toyama, Murphy, & Baki, 2013) Face-to-face Online Real-life interaction / discussion / field work / … Direct feedback / asynchronous collaboration / simulations / …
  14. 14. Increased convenience and access • Appreciated by: Undergraduates and graduates; homebound and disabled learners; working professionals and nontraditional students. • Appreciated because of: Balance between family, work, and school; modification of course to specific needs; only possibility for obtaining a degree. Watts, J. (2017). Beyond Flexibility and Convenience. Journal of Business and Technical Communication. (see also: Irvine, Code, & Richards, 2013) “Universities’ choices on how to change are better informed by the students entering them, moving these universities towards more learner-centered models.” (Irvine, Code, & Richards, 2013)
  15. 15. Constraints to current practise “Blended learning a dangerous idea?” (Moskal, Dziuban, & Hartman, 2012) (1) balance between innovation and production; (2) role of the learner; (3) cultural adaptation and digital divide. Khan, A. I., Shaik, M. S., Ali, A. M., & Bebi, C. V. (2012). Study of blended learning process in education context. International Journal of Modern Education and Computer Science, 4(9), 23.
  16. 16. Constraints to current practise “Blended learning a dangerous idea?” (Moskal, Dziuban, & Hartman, 2012) (1) balance between innovation and production; (2) role of the learner; (3) cultural adaptation and digital divide. Khan, A. I., Shaik, M. S., Ali, A. M., & Bebi, C. V. (2012). Study of blended learning process in education context. International Journal of Modern Education and Computer Science, 4(9), 23.
  17. 17. Innovation and product • Hard technology – devices, media, and software; o Moore's law o Hype curve • Soft technology – methods and techniques. Van Merriënboer, J. J. G., & Kanselaar, G. (2006). Waar staan we na 25 jaar onderwijstechnologie in Vlaanderen, Nederland en de rest van de wereld?. Pedagogische Studiën, 83(4), 278. (see also: Jonassen, 2004) “Research aimed at developing digital didactics should not be driven by technological innovations, but directed by a vision on education and learning that stimulates the integration of new technologies insofar as they indicate an added value.” (Van Merriënboer, & Kanselaar, 2006)
  18. 18. Role of the learners Drachsler, H., & Kirschner, P. A. (2012). Learner Characteristics. In Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (pp. 1743-1745). Springer US. (see also: Lynch, & Dembo, 2004) ?? Blame it on the learner ?? “Optimal learning is the result of the instruction being perfectly matched to the learners’ characteristics and abilities.” (Drachsler, & Kirschner, 2012)
  19. 19. In summary • Blended learning is around and likely to stay; • Potential affordances: o more effective pedagogy o increased convenience and access • Constraints to current practices: o balance between innovation and production o role of the learner Next steps for blended learning practise
  20. 20. effective integration more effective pedagogy innovation and production role of the learner DESIGN as KEY to progress
  21. 21. Designing blended learning
  22. 22. Designing blended learning
  23. 23. Designing blended learning
  24. 24. Example: Design vs learner behaviour
  25. 25. Products and processes of learning
  26. 26. Questions? Stijn Van Laer E-mail: stijn.vanlaer@kuleuven.be

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