Introduction to Research Methods and Blended Learning

This is the 2nd out of three studies the writer aims to compose approximately blended acquisition. The first paper introduced readers to intermix acquisition. He discussed what blended truly was and the grounds why pedagogues prefer to incorporate blended larning into their instruction. He besides outlined the range, restrictions and targeted user of the research. Two articles were besides analyzed by the writer. The first article was written by Norm Vaughan, of the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education ( AACE ) Chesapeake, VA, for the International Journal on E-Learning on the Positions on Blended Learning in Higher Education. In the article he discussed the benefits and restrictions of blended acquisition in establishments of higher instruction from the position of those who had experience with this method of acquisition.
The 2nd article was written by the Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development at Oxford Brookes University for the Higher Education Academy. The purpose of the survey was to reexamine bing research and pattern on blended acquisition, place cardinal surveies and issues, and do recommendations to steer future policies, patterns and research. The writer concluded the paper by bespeaking that he felt blended acquisition is the natural development of e-learning.
In this study, the writer aims to carry on a literature reappraisal on blended acquisition. The writer would farther explicate what blended acquisition is. He would sketch the assorted degrees of blended learning.The advantages and disadvantages of blended acquisition would besides be discussed in this paper. The writer would so seek to reply the chief research inquiry, which is, how does Blended Learning aid in current instruction system? The writer besides aims to happen out if blended acquisition is really better than the traditional face to confront signifier of acquisition. The writer would stop by giving his ain positions on blended acquisition.

2.0 Blended Learning
Blended Learning involves the integrating or blending of larning plans in assorted formats to accomplish a common end. Blended larning plans normally consists of a combination of talk suites and on-line plans. Blended acquisition could besides be defined as the merger of traditional face to face and on-line larning strategies to maximise the effectivity of preparation plans.
In blended acquisition, the preparation plan is broken down into faculties and the most suited bringing methods are selected for each and tailored to single demands. The chief purpose is to take advantage of the best characteristics of each method. An array of media may be used, runing from traditional workshops, classroom-based instruction, books and other support stuffs, computer-based preparation and CD-ROMs.
2.1 Brief history of Blended acquisition
Although the term blended larning merely gained popularity in the past few old ages, it has been utilized for decennaries by pedagogues and organisations at every degree.
In the pure sense of the term, blended larning fundamentally means using more than one larning attack to educate pupils. Recently blended acquisition has been viewed as the mixture of traditional face to confront larning and engineering, utilizing whatever was popular at the clip. This could include everything from reckoners to telecastings sets to personal computing machines and the Internet with both it advantages or disadvantages. During the class of the last 15 old ages blended acquisition has evolved significantly. Both the figure of pedagogues learning blended course of studies and the many different sorts of blends being used are a testament to the feasibleness of these types of plans.
2.2 Degrees of Blended Learning
Blended acquisition occurs at a assortment of different degrees. All of the signifiers Blended Learning occur at one of the undermentioned four different degrees ;
aˆ? Activity degree
aˆ? Course degree
aˆ? Program degree.
aˆ? Institutional degree.
Activity Level Blending.
Blending at the this degree occurs when a acquisition activity contains both face-to-face ( F2F ) and computing machine mediated ( CM ) elements.
Course Level Blending.
Course degree blending is one of the most popular ways to intermix. It consists of a combination of the traditional face to face ( F2F ) and computing machine mediated ( CM ) activities used as portion of a class.
Program Level Blending.
Blending at a plan degree frequently involves a theoretical account in which the participants choose a mix between face to face ( F2F ) classs and on-line classs or one in which the combination between the two is prescribed by the plan.
Institutional Level Blending.
Some educational establishments and organisations have made a committedness to intermixing face-to-face ( F2F ) and computing machine mediated ( CM ) direction. The University of Phoenix has an institutional theoretical account for intermixing where pupils have F2F categories at the beginning and terminal of the class with on-line activities in between. ( C. Graham and B. Young, 2004 ) .
2.3 Advantages of Blended Learning
Blended acquisition has several advantages over other signifiers of larning. Past surveies and articles on blended acquisition has revealed that pacing and attending is an advantage of blended acquisition.
In most blended acquisition schoolrooms, there is the ability to larn whenever the pupil decides to make so. If a pupil is absent from a lesson, he or she may see some of the lost talk stuffs at the same clip that the remainder of the category does, despite the fact that the pupil ‘s non physically present in the category room. This ensures that pupils who might hold one ground or the other that prevents them from attended talks on a regular basis can still be on the same page as all the other pupils in the category. This larning attack besides ensures that pupils can see learning stuffs at any clip they decide to, in instance they want to revisit what they have been taught or merely travel on to future subjects, for those who learn at a faster gait. ( Alvarez, 2005 )
Another advantage of blended acquisition is the fact that it maximizes the effectivity of larning. Most pupils indicate that the schoolroom can be a dull and deadening topographic point to larn sometimes, the integrating of blended acquisition into the system adds a originative dimension to the uninteresting acquisition environment. Past surveies have besides reveled that this learning attack encourages and improves teacher-learner interaction. Furthermore, online acquisition enables pupils from different geographical locations to acquire choice instruction they usually would non hold entree to. . ( ) .
it ‘s ability to back up and heighten meaningful educational experiences every bit good as to supply a cost and resource effectual methodological analysis has besides made it peculiarly appealing to a assortment of organisations and educational establishments. ( Garrison and Kanuka, 2004 )
2.4 Disadvantages of Blended Learning
Surveies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee ( Garnham & A ; Kaleta, 2002 ) and University of Central Florida ( Dziuban & A ; Moskal, 2001 ) indicated that pupils encountered a figure of issues with blended classs.
Duty for acquisition was one of the major jobs pupils encountered with blended classs. Freshmen undergraduate, who are still used still used to the traditional face to confront larning attack find it hard to accommodate their perusal and larning wonts to accommodate on-line learning.Although, with clip they become used to the thought of being responsible for their ain acquisition, it is still a job they face in the initial phases.
Time committedness was another challenge identified by most module. They claimed that the planning and development of a big registration blended class take much more clip to develop, when compared with clip taken to develop a similar class in the traditional format.Faculty, at the University of Central Florida, indicated that a class with on-line constituents requires a batch more clip in both the development and hebdomadal administrative undertakings than a similar class delivered in the traditional face to confront format. ( Dziuban & A ; Moskal,2001 )
3.0 How does Blended Learning aid in current instruction system?
Before get downing the research, the writer had a few inquiries which he wanted answered by the terminal of the research. The chief inquiry was how does Blended Learning aid in current instruction system? The writer aimed to calculate out how blended acquisition fitted into today ‘s higher instruction system and understand the positions and perceptual experiences of persons towards the integrating of blended larning into higher instruction.
A research was conducted by Curtis J. Bonk, Kyong-Jee Kim from Indiana University, USA and Tingting Zeng from Warwick University, UK.The purpose of their survey was to research the current position and future waies of on-line instruction in higher instruction scenes. The study participants included university teachers who were members of MERLOT, a higher instruction assosciation, dwelling of university professors, instructional applied scientists and decision makers who portion and peer measure their web stuff s and resources.
The survey-questionnaire consisted of 42 inquiries chiefly related to the hereafter of blended acquisition in higher instruction. Merely 562 study were completed out of the 12,000 study petitions sent.65 % of the participants in the higher instruction study were talks or professors,28 % were university decision makers or proficient support forces, while the staying participants were educational advisers.
Consequences from the study indicated that a majority,93 % to be specific, of the participants indicated that they presently incorporating intermixing into their instruction approach.The writers claimed that the results of the this consequence came as no surprise to them. The consequence besides shows that the respondents expected a rise in their usage of blended acquisition attacks in the coming old ages. 40 % of the participants predicted that 21-40 % of their classs would be blended by the twelvemonth 2006 and another 37 per centum expected this to be higher than 40 per centum. And surprisingly 7 in 10 participants claimed that they will offer more than 40 % of their classs in a blended format, by the twelvemonth 2013
An article titled the Positions on Blended Learning in Higher Education by Norm Vaughan of the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education ( AACE ) Chesapeake, VA, which the writer discussed about in his last paper outlined that most module in establishments of higher instruction suggest that blended classs stimulate teacher-student interaction, increased battle in acquisition and that it added an component of creativeness to the sometimes uninteresting traditional acquisition environment.
In the writer ‘s sentiment, blended acquisition has had and is holding a positive impact in today ‘s educational system. The consequences gathered from the study discussed above, indicates that 93 per centum of the persons that responded, are already utilizing blended acquisition in their instruction. This means that most persons and higher establishments have already noticed the effectivity of blended acquisition and see it as the best manner to educate people.
The writer feels satisfied with these findings and can reason that blended acquisition has contributed positively to the manner persons are being educated today, he besides feels that similarities in the consequences between the different articles read indicates that blended acquisition is proliferating across establishments of higher instruction and this tendency will go on to increase.
4.0 Is blended larning better than face to confront acquisition?
Another inquiry which the writer wanted answered before the terminal of his research was if blended acquisition was more effectual than the traditional face to confront manner of acquisition.
An article titled “ Blended Learning ” More Effective than Face-to-Face was written by Katie Ash for Education Week Digital Directions, she stated that a study was released on June 26, 2009 by the United States of America ‘s Department of Education. She claimed the study examined several studies,46 to be precise, comparing the traditional face to confront signifier of larning with on-line acquisition and concluded that blended acquisition, or larning methods that implement elements of both the traditional face to face and online acquisition, is reasonably more effectual than either attack by itself. The writers besides discovered that blended acquisition was more effectual at increasing pupil accomplishment degree than the traditional face to confront larning attack.
The writer steadfastly disagrees with the decision reached by the US section of instruction. He feels that although blended acquisition has many advantages, there is non adequate grounds to reason that blended acquisition is better than the traditional face to confront acquisition. The writer searched and was unable to happen any other article, book or diary that came to the same decision as the US section of instruction. In add-on, the study from the US section of instruction stated that although the types of research designs used by the surveies in the analysis were strong, many of the surveies suffered from assorted failings such as failure to describe keeping rates for pupils in the conditions being contrasted, little sample sizes, and possible unfairness due to the fact that the writers served as both teachers and experimenters.
5.0 Decision
It is apparent that blended larning holds great promise for pedagogues. Quality and effectual preparation will no longer be confined to the walls of a category room While intermixing can be extremely effectual and efficient manner of preparation, it is of import to retrieve that a successful acquisition experience requires high quality in all facets of the instructional system schoolroom interaction. At the terminal of this study, the writer can reason that although blended acquisition has legion advantages over other signifiers of acquisition, it still is non superior to the traditional face to confront acquisition. Besides, the writer has been able to understand how blended acquisition helps in the current educational system and can reason that blended acquisition has revolutionized the manner people are educated today.

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