About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5088-5094
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1204

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

AN ANALYSIS ON THE STUDENT INTERACTION AND COLLABORATION IN AN UNDERGRADUATE BLENDED LEARNING COURSE

S. Senanayake1, E. Hettiarachchi2, K. Hewagamage2

1Uva Wellassa University (SRI LANKA)
2University of Colombo School of Computing (SRI LANKA)
In a blended learning educational context, technology-enhanced teaching and learning plays a vital role which directs the students to learn by themselves. Learning Management System (LMS) can be considered as a platform which supports technology-enhanced teaching and learning. This paper presents a study carried-out to analyze the student interaction and collaboration in a final year undergraduate course conducted in a blended educational environment. The course has been offered for a fully complete academic year. An academic year consisted of two semesters which span over a period of fifteen weeks each. First semester was allocated for discussion forums to enhance collaboration and interaction among peers. It carried 50% of the total mark. Second semester was allocated for learning reflection which contained presentations, magazine articles, and posters. The mark allocation was 10%, 20%, and 20% respectively. In the forum discussions, students were given the freedom to search and formulate their ideas under emerging topics announced by the teacher. The students had the chance to peer-assess the forums by rating. The teacher involvement had mainly happened during the learning reflection. The presentations were evaluated by a panel of lecturers. The magazine articles were evaluated by the lecturer in charge of the course. The posters were published on a Facebook page and evaluated by the public community including students, lecturers, and the people who visit the page. As the evaluation, 70% of the total mark was allocated for the online activities comprised of discussion forums and a magazine article. Both were conducted online by posting and replying to forums, and as an online submission for the magazine article. The other 30% was allocated for blended activities comprised of presentations and poster designs. The students interacted with their group members through online and face-to-face (f2f) activities. For the evaluation, both quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques comprised of LMS log data and a questionnaire were used. Forum participation was analyzed by generating a graph using the log file data of the LMS. According to that, at the beginning, the online interaction and collaboration were low, but, after several weeks, the participation had increased to a peak. Then, it has decreased to a low margin at the end of the first semester and increased at the beginning of the second semester. Then, it has gone to an equilibrium until the end of the semester. Another graph was generated to analyze student access to the LMS. It showed that the student interaction had increased mostly right before the deadlines of each evaluation. To evaluate the reasons for the above variations, feedback was obtained through a questionnaire. Accordingly, the main reasons were the unfamiliarity of the course at the beginning, motivation, and the workload of students. The students had mentioned that although the course is interesting and valuable, they were not able to concentrate on that because of the final year workload. As the conclusion, it is possible to say that in order to maintain the student interaction and collaboration in blended courses, more time and focus need be allocated for student-centered activities. Also, a considerable portion should be assigned to f2f activities in the course. By considering the analysis, blended mode courses can be implemented with the aid of technology to get the maximum benefit to the higher education.
@InProceedings{SENANAYAKE2018ANA,
author = {Senanayake, S. and Hettiarachchi, E. and Hewagamage, K.},
title = {AN ANALYSIS ON THE STUDENT INTERACTION AND COLLABORATION IN AN UNDERGRADUATE BLENDED LEARNING COURSE},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.1204},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.1204},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {5088-5094}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Senanayake AU - E. Hettiarachchi AU - K. Hewagamage
TI - AN ANALYSIS ON THE STUDENT INTERACTION AND COLLABORATION IN AN UNDERGRADUATE BLENDED LEARNING COURSE
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.1204
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 5088
EP - 5094
ER -
S. Senanayake, E. Hettiarachchi, K. Hewagamage (2018) AN ANALYSIS ON THE STUDENT INTERACTION AND COLLABORATION IN AN UNDERGRADUATE BLENDED LEARNING COURSE, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 5088-5094.
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