DOES ONE SIZE FIT ALL?
CECC, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:There is a growing number of organisations in Portugal that are investing in Blended Learning (BL) courses for their staff members, mainly due to the flexibility and lower costs this format represents. This trend also includes language courses delivered at Portuguese and multinational companies that intend not only to embrace the global economy but increase their competitiveness by using the English language as a necessary tool for being part of the globalised market.
While the implementation of such courses at corporate level has existed for some decades now, uncertainty still persists for companies regarding the learning outcomes and return on investment of Blended Learning (BL) Courses. At the same time, new challenges have also emerged for teachers and researchers that go beyond course design, delivery and teaching.
From our almost 15 years of teaching experience with e-learning platforms, we have detected that as students’ level of proficiency increases, a decrease in time spent online can be observed. Does this correspond to lower grades? Within this scope, one may question how efficient this format may be for language learners as their level of proficiency increases.
The aim of this study is to assess whether this model is appropriate for all levels of proficiency. In other words, we will try to examine the efficiency of the BL format in an EFL training course within an in-company environment.The study is carried out by comparing the final grades and online self-study time of students ranging from A to B levels, in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference. We aim to identify the possible impact the decrease in online self-study time of students - observed as their level of proficiency increases – has on their results.
Is there a difference in BL course effectiveness depending on students’ level of proficiency? Do Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate students benefit as much from BL courses as their peers at a Beginner level? Does one size, i.e., the same BL approach, not fit all?
Keywords: ICT, Course Design Parameters, b-learning, Online Learner Performance and Behaviour, EFL.