A design based research on the use of a blended learning environment

Gedik, Nuray
The purpose of this study is to examine and describe student and instructor experiences and perceptions of course design, and identify the critical issues regarding the use of a blended learning environment. A design based research (DBR) framework with qualitative approaches was carried out by collecting data from an undergraduate course offered to sophomores. The primary approach was phenomenology using the lens of heuristic inquiry. Interviews, questionnaires, documents, observation notes, instructor diary, and weekly reflection reports were the main data sources. Data were collected in three periods: preliminary study, pilot study, and actual implementation. The results of instructor experiences revealed that instructor considerations for the analysis period centered on needs and context. The design and development considerations centered v on pedagogical approach, course materials and documents, course organization, interaction, and instructor-student roles. The enablers (benefits and opportunities) of the implementation period included arousing student interest and participation potentially more, having flexibility, saving time, tracking student progress more easily, and increased interaction, collaboration, and communication opportunities. The barriers (challenges and limitations) were increased workload, difficulties related to the course and time management, overlaps, and creating harmony among F2F and online environments. The students mentioned interaction and communication opportunities, increased motivation, opportunity to voice opinions, and reinforcement of learning as enablers of the blended learning environment. The barriers were increased workload, cultural and technical barriers and dependability of environments. The critical issues were found to be context, pedagogical framework, instructor competency, and technical issues. It can be concluded that use of blended learning environments can be regarded as a paramount initiative for the higher education institutions by maximizing the enablers of both environments but also has its unique barriers to consider. The results also implied that it is the decisions on the instructional design approaches for creating balance in the course activities that is critical to blended learning environment designs.


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Citation Formats
N. Gedik, “A design based research on the use of a blended learning environment,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2010.