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Responding to student needs: Trialling a 'blended environment'

By Waveney M. Croft and Emma C. Mihaly


‘Applied Skills and Scholarship’ (HHB116) is a core unit for first year students, which was historically delivered using the traditional lecture and tutorial format. However, with a sudden increase in student numbers and a demand for more flexibility, it became apparent that a fresh approach was necessary to accommodate student needs. The solution entailed a mixed delivery approach that integrated the use of educational technology, personal interaction and collaborative exercises. While the content remained unchanged, streamed audio recordings substituted the traditional lecture format. Face-to-face tutorial sessions were retained, and group work activities were introduced. The question now is whether first year students can be responsible for their own learning in such a unit, whether they have the motivation and discipline to manage their study without the closer guidance of traditional delivery. Have we assumed too much? This paper will explore the use of a ‘blended environment’ from a pedagogical perspective, and will investigate the benefits, disadvantages and the resulting modifications that may be necessary to ensure successful learning outcomes for students

Topics: 130306 Educational Technology and Computing, Blended learning, e, learning, educational technology, flexible learning, motivation, first year students, university, HERN
Publisher: QUT
Year: 2005
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