About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5353-5362
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain


M. Genís, T. Martín de Lama, B. López Medina

Universidad Antonio de Nebrija (SPAIN)
The innovative use of synchronous and asynchronous tools in blended learning offer the students vast opportunities to practice communicative skills along with content in a collaborative way. This methodology comprises an e-platform in the university virtual campus which includes spaces such as document uploading, fora, blogs, instant messenger, group work boxes, task boxes, as well as video-conference access and sessions recordings, which along with face-to face classes (on-campus) allow communication between teachers and students, and students among themselves. Besides, the use of a blended-learning methodology reinforces the students ICT skills and prepares them to use this methodology in their future professional life.
The Master´s Degree in Bilingual Education at Nebrija University has shown that the combination of on-line classes with on-campus sessions is beneficial for both teachers and students, as it builds a strong sense of belonging to an advanced educational community, helping to reduce dropouts, often 20% higher in distance education, and to improve the students’ interpersonal, intercultural and social competences. McMillan & Chavis (1986:9) gave a clear definition of community, declaring that it is a feeling “that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members' needs will be met through their commitment to be together". As students collaborate, they establish relationships based on trust and opportunities to get to know each other and maintain group cohesion.
The first survey into the benefits of blended learning carried out at Nebrija University last year, confirmed that the blending of on-line and on-campus classes together with the students´ guidance through the Virtual campus were considered as very useful tools to improve language competence and content learning. We are now preparing a study that will try to confirm or refute our assumption that the key factor for the success of any kind of blended methodology is the sense of community and the commitment of the group to a common educational purpose.
Our presentation will report the initial results of our experience and explore the implications of these findings for future studies.

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Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Schwier, R. A. (2001). Virtual Learning Communities. In G. Anglin (Ed.), Issues in Educational Technology.
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
author = {Gen{\'{i}}s, M. and Mart{\'{i}}n de Lama, T. and L{\'{o}}pez Medina, B.},
series = {7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-2661-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {4-5 March, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {5353-5362}}
AU - M. Genís AU - T. Martín de Lama AU - B. López Medina
SN - 978-84-616-2661-8/2340-1079
PY - 2013
Y1 - 4-5 March, 2013
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2013 Proceedings
SP - 5353
EP - 5362
ER -
M. Genís, T. Martín de Lama, B. López Medina (2013) REDUCING DROPOUTS: BLENDED LEARNING AND COMMUNITY FEELING, INTED2013 Proceedings, pp. 5353-5362.