This article presents research on students’ experiences of learning through a blend of face-to-face and online discussion. The participants in our study were students enrolled in a foreign policy course at a major Australian university. Students’ conceptions of learning through discussion, and their approaches to both face-to-face and online discussion, were elicited through open-ended questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Students’ responses to both open-ended questionnaires and interviews were analysed using a phenomenographic framework. Qualitative variations in students’ conceptions and approaches were categorised and were found to form a hierarchy. Subsequent quantitative analysis found associations between students’ conceptions of learning through discussion, their approaches to both face-to-face and online discussion and their academic performance (as indicated by the final mark for the course). Implications for teaching and further research are discussed.
- Learning through discussion
- Blended learning
- Computer mediated communication
- Teaching/learning strategies