Research focus and methodological choices in studies into students' experiences of blended learning in higher education

A.-M. Bliuc, P. Goodyear, R.A. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

230 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The paper reviews representative research into blended learning in universities, taking into account the methodology used, the focus of the research and the relationship between the two. In terms of methodology, most research was classifiable as case-studies, survey-based studies or comparative studies. A small number of studies take a comparatively more holistic approach and one of the outcomes from this review is a recommendation for more holistic studies to be undertaken. In the studies reviewed, the focus of the research is often related to the degree of methodological complexity. That is, less methodologically elaborated studies tend to have a more specific focus, while the studies employing a more complex methodology tend to report more varied aspects of the students' learning experience. It is argued that educationally useful research on blended learning needs to focus on the relationships between different modes of learning (for example, face-to-face and on-line) and especially on the nature of their integration. In particular, such research needs to generate usable evidence about the quality of the students' learning experiences and learning outcomes. In turn, this demands appropriately powerful methodologies, rooted in a firm theoretical foundation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-244
Number of pages14
JournalInternet and Higher Education
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Blended learning
  • Research focus
  • Methodology
  • Holistic

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