About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3878-3888
Publication year: 2021
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.0820

Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference

BLENDED LEARNING OR FULL ONLINE APPROACH: WHAT ARE THE LESSONS LEARNT DURING 2020? THE EIT DIGITAL EXPERIENCE IN CONDUCTING SUMMER SCHOOLS

G. Guri, M. Marchese, C. Pasquini

University of Trento (ITALY)
There is growing interest from the universities’ management and national or European policy-makers to understand whether the COVID 19 pandemic pushed the education system and teachers to increasingly consider the full online (FO) learning as the future of education in universities. Supporters of face-to-face (F2F) traditional learning approach, instead, maintain that regardless the emergency of the current situation, FO learning has to remain applicable only in exceptional cases. Another approach is that of Blended Learning (BL) applied by the EIT Digital network of universities. This network of 20 universities offers eight ICT master and doctoral programs within education component of the EIT Digital knowledge innovation community (KIC) promoted by the European Institute of Technology (EIT). Blended learning (referred also as hybrid learning) describes classes that combine online learning with F2F teaching, has been increasingly used in higher education over the last years.

Regardless the current situation, which poses the full online as the only alternative at all education levels, the question various HEIs seek to address is whether future human & financial resources have to definitely concentrated on FO education. There are no doubts about some advantages of FO education especially at the university level in terms of programmes implementation costs, increasing of teaching flexibility, quality assurance by making use of qualitative online materials etc. However, during the pandemic situation, it became quite evident from teachers and students’ feedback that FO approach is not a perfect solution either. Students lamented the lack of cooperation with teammates particularly during team-working activities when addressing cases provided on challenge based education approach. Teachers found as well FO interaction with students difficult in terms of concentration during long hours of screen teaching and daily evaluation of the knowledge assimilation by students.

In this respect, the BL methodology applied by the EIT Digital education programmes deserves credit for applying an approach, which combines the advantages of both education approaches. Since there is no doubt that F2F education has to be further developed to respond to the challenges of future education the question remains: BL or FO education? This is the question addressed by this paper in a comparative approach drawing upon the results collected from students’ questionnaire when conducting the same summer school activity by employing once the BL and then the FO methodology. Although the EIT Digital summer schools of the Master Programme have been applying the BL methodology for seven years, until this year the full-online methodology had never been applied until 2020. Thanks to longitudinal data collected through students’ questionnaires on summer schools applying a BL methodology (2018, 2019) and students’ feedback on the same questionnaire for FO summer schools (2020), we are able to analyze students’ level of satisfaction with each of these methodologies. Since the EIT Digital summer school assigns four ECTS and is part of the mandatory curricula for Master School students, there is a set of strict intended learning outcomes (ILOs), observed learning outcomes (OLOs) and expected results from students as in any other regular course of a Master Programme.
@InProceedings{GURI2021BLE,
author = {Guri, G. and Marchese, M. and Pasquini, C.},
title = {BLENDED LEARNING OR FULL ONLINE APPROACH: WHAT ARE THE LESSONS LEARNT DURING 2020? THE EIT DIGITAL EXPERIENCE IN CONDUCTING SUMMER SCHOOLS},
series = {13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN21 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-31267-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2021.0820},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2021.0820},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Online Conference},
month = {5-6 July, 2021},
year = {2021},
pages = {3878-3888}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Guri AU - M. Marchese AU - C. Pasquini
TI - BLENDED LEARNING OR FULL ONLINE APPROACH: WHAT ARE THE LESSONS LEARNT DURING 2020? THE EIT DIGITAL EXPERIENCE IN CONDUCTING SUMMER SCHOOLS
SN - 978-84-09-31267-2/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2021.0820
PY - 2021
Y1 - 5-6 July, 2021
CI - Online Conference
JO - 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN21 Proceedings
SP - 3878
EP - 3888
ER -
G. Guri, M. Marchese, C. Pasquini (2021) BLENDED LEARNING OR FULL ONLINE APPROACH: WHAT ARE THE LESSONS LEARNT DURING 2020? THE EIT DIGITAL EXPERIENCE IN CONDUCTING SUMMER SCHOOLS, EDULEARN21 Proceedings, pp. 3878-3888.
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