BLENDED LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION: A VIEW FROM WITHIN
1 Spiru Haret University, Academy of Romanian Scientist (ROMANIA)
2 University of Bucharest (ROMANIA)
3 University of Ulster (UNITED KINGDOM)
4 Spiru Haret University (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Today’s world is completely engaged in a new type of revolution: the digital one. Higher education is one important field which can benefit from the advent of digital technologies. Blended learning has emerged as a groundbreaking concept, which combines the student’s traditional learning experience with the support offered by the computer, the teacher guiding him all the way.
The mission of Adapt2jobs, a project developed with the help of the European Union’s structural funds, is to create a learning platform, where seven traditional courses from three distinct fields of study, developed by experienced academics according to the labour-market requirements, have been transferred to the digital medium by ICT (Information and Communication Technology) specialists. The project is intended to implement a piloting programme, which involves 210 students enrolled at the seven courses, and, eventually, to measure learning effectiveness by means of the tools developed as part of the learning platform.
A research methodology has been designed in order to assess the overall learning experience of the students involved in the project, and, thus, to provide valuable insights to teachers, who are given the opportunity to enrich their teaching methods and teaching philosophy, and to make them able to adapt to new ICT technologies in education. The feedback from students is collected with the help of two online evaluative surveys: a general one applied prior to Adapt2jobs learning experience, and a specific one, tailored for each course, applied at the end of the piloting stage. This allows us to make a comparative analysis between the students’ expectations and their previous learning experience, which is mainly traditional, and the new type of learning experienced during the piloting months. Data collection is made via Lime Survey, a digital open source which will assist us in interpreting students’ responses. The survey variables have been selected to describe the students’ past experience in using computer and online learning materials, to explore their perception of learning effectiveness on a personal level, and, on a more general level, to compare traditional learning with blended learning.
The paper’s aim is to analyse the preliminary results available for the two surveys and, thus, to evaluate the implementation scheme proposed by the project and, therefore, the effectiveness of technology-mediated instruction.
Keywords: Blended learning, digitized courses, traditional courses, general evaluative survey, specific evaluative survey.