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Blended learning: The view from research Thomas Bacon Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Cener
29% of undergraduate students (10. 6 million full-time) took some kind of distance education course in the fall of 2015. (NCES, 2017) A year-to-year 3. 7% increase in the number of distance education students (Allen and Seaman, 2017) More than 1 in 4 students (28% of total higher education population) now take at least one class online. (Allen and Seaman, 2017)
Nov 2002 – Blended Learning first discussed by a small group of colleagues in a conference in Orlando, FL Apr 2003 -- invitation-only workshop held under the sponsorship of Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to discuss “blended learning” and its implications for education
Blended, or flipped or hybrid, learning (BL) is one type of Web-delivered, Web-facilitated course BL combines traditional face-to-face (F 2 F) instruction and synchronous or asynchronous technologies although not all learners are at the same location (Mc. Shane, 2010) Synchronous – classroom instruction Asynchronous – discussion boards and the like
3 forms of BL in higher education: Websupplemented or technology-enhanced, hybrid of face time (F 2 F) and online learning activities, and blended programs (Ross and Gage, 2006) Blending of F 2 F and online learning facilitates the strengths of both areas into a unique learning experience (Garrison and Vaughan, 2008)
% Online Type Content Delivery 0% traditional In writing or orally 1 to 29% web facilitated Technology to facilitate essentially a face-to-face (F 2 F) course. May use a course management system (CMS) or web pages to post the syllabus and assignments. 30 to 79% blended/ hybrid Online (substantial portion) and F 2 F. Typically uses only discussions and reduced number of F 2 F meetings. 80+% online Most or all online. Typically no F 2 F meetings. (Allen and Seaman, 2013)
Post-secondary courses have availed of BL in diverse fields (e. g. , teacher training, psychology, nursing education, computer graphics, music). BL environments seem to thrive in the field of second/foreign language (L 2) learning and teaching (e. g. , grammar, vocabulary acquisition, reading comprehension, oral production skills, pronunciation, writing, ESP) Vast majority of research focuses on ESL/EFL. Foreign languages have also benefitted.
Kirkgöz (2011) primarily qualitative study. aims to design a speaking course in which taskbased F 2 F instruction was blended with the use of video for the 1 st year students of English in Turkish higher education. Research Questions: What are the student teachers’ perceptions on the effectiveness of videorecorded task-based speaking course (TBSC) as a BL environment? What is the contribution of the blended approach to the improvement of student teachers’ speaking skills? Sample size: 28 (7 male, 21 female; 21 -22 y. o. )
Kirkgöz (2011) needs assessments to identify the students’ speaking difficulties, perceived needs and expectations from the speaking course, and kind of topics included in the course. students asked to speak on one of 2 argumentative topics. Performance analyzed using an oral test rating scale developed specifically for the study (fluency, pronunciation, vocabulary, accuracy, task accomplishment). Rater’s reliability score = 92. 6%. Semi-structured interview (15 -20 mins)
Kirkgöz (2011) Program: 3 hrs F 2 F Independent work on planning and videorecording assigned speaking tasks in groups. (Theme of tasks: English as a global language ) 1 hr classroom time added to the weekly schedule to view and evaluate students’ videorecording tasks 1 hr classroom F 2 F component: pre-task stage, task cycle of 10 -15 mins for prep, oral report on the tasks in pairs or groups.
Kirkgöz (2011) Program: Components of F 2 F instruction: - pre-task stage: clarifying vocab and structure - task cycle: in pairs or groups 10 -15 mins for prep - report: groups or pairs present results of their tasks
Kirkgöz (2011) Program: Blended learning segment: - Ss assigned speaking task similar to one studied during the particular week - Ss prepare collaboratively - Ss videotape themselves doing the speaking task (e. g. , related to the influence of English on the Turkish language) - viewing of videotaped performance: student performance evaluated vis-à-vis oral testing scale, feedback given, students asked to transcribe sections
Kirkgöz (2011) Pre- and post-speaking test scores entered into a computer for quantitative analysis (SPSS). t tests to see differences between tests Data from interview and end-of-course eval analyzed qualitatively through content analysis to identify emerging themes and trends.
Kirkgöz (2011) Findings: (1) students responded positively to integrating videos into speaking classes, (2) blended TBSC significantly helped students overcome their anxiety, (3) mean scores on the speaking tasks jumped from 58. 0 before the course to 82. 86 at the post-test speaking task. Critique: (1) very small sample, (2) no control group
Yang (2012) 183 volunteered. Pretest: Test of English as International Communication (TOEIC, passing grade = 495). Scores: Mean - 187. 64, SD – 46. 49 Selection criteria: scores falling within half of the SD (187. 64 ± 23. 25). 108 met the criteria.
Yang (2012) Random assignment: 54 experimental, 54 control Experimental group: blended learning instruction, mean score of 184. 12 and SD of 38. 13 Control group: on-site instruction, mean score of 182. 08 and SD of 39. 03 Independent t-test: no significant difference in the pre-test scores of the 2 groups (t = 0. 90, p < 0. 214)
Yang (2012) Program: 12 weeks, 3 hours per week Both groups introduced to reading strategies (prediction, clarification, questioning, summarization) during 1 st 4 weeks
Yang (2012) Program: 2 modules: student interface, teacher interface 4 functionalities to support S-T and S-S interactions: dialog box, discussion forum, chat room, annotation tool S interface provided comprehension Q’s. Ss tasked with highlighting key words and phrases, topic sentences, other important sentences in the texts. T interface: log files and student action stats to monitor Ss interaction and reading process
Yang (2012) Program: . Post-test after 12 weeks. T-tests revealed significant differences in posttest of both groups. 20 Ss randomly selected for a semi-structured interview in order to investigate their original and new concepts of blended learning before and after the remedial reading program Data for analysis collected from: pretest and posttest results, students’ actions recorded in the log files, students’ on-site worksheets of the reading strategies, semi-structured interview
Yang (2012) Data analysis: Experimental group believed that they: (1) integrated their reading in the 2 modalities and generated new conceptions for their future learning in reading, (2) took charge of their learning in terms of time and opportunities to practice the reading strategies, (3) were able to reflect on their usage of the reading strategies through the log files. Also that: (4) group discussions should be supported to receive feedback.
Yang (2012) Results of the study: Indicated that BL was effective in enhancing students’ reading proficiency through the well-managed combo of on-site and online instructions. Experimental group performed significantly better on reading than the control group. Experimental group generated new concepts for integrating on-site and online learning. Experimental group able to reveal their approaches in the reading process through externalizing their reading process online.
Bissoonauth-Bedford & Stace (2012) Sample: 60 first-year students of French in their 2 nd semester in an Australian university Week 1: A small questionnaire revealed that students’ experience in learning French ranged from complete beginner to 5 years of study. Researchers decided to put students into small groups of 4, mixing beginners with nonbeginners. 30 groups at the beginning of the semester.
Bissoonauth-Bedford & Stace (2012) Program: Online discussion board on Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Major function: “threaded discussion topic. ” Discussion topics inspired by the grammatical structures past tense, object pronouns, reported speech. Minimum of 5 daily discussions was mandatory. Exchanges either in English or in French. Direct input from the teacher was deliberately kept minimal. Ss could post, reply to and forward messages but could not delete or edit their own or their peers’ messages once posted.
Bissoonauth-Bedford & Stace (2012) Program: Discussions forum integrated into the formal assessment (10% of semester grade). Students had practical tutorial on the IT labs, where they could access the forum individually and were given an instruction sheet. Personal examples were given in the 1 st 2 weeks as a form of encouragement. 10 postings per student over the semester, with over-all score of 10 for each student.
Bissoonauth-Bedford & Stace (2012) Analysis: (Quantitative) data suggested forum well used as peer-support and learning platform (Comparative) read and posted messages showed Ss reading more than posting (a high degree of engagement) 12± Ss read more than 500 postings over the semester, 3 over 1000 messages, 1 over 2500 messages. 17 Ss posted more than 10 messages, the rest between 5 -10. (Quantitative) contents of the interactions revealed that Ss used discussions as both a learning and social platform.
Bissoonauth-Bedford & Stace (2012) 3 types of learning occurred: Building and sharing of grammar knowledge and awareness Making connections between language, culture, and society through experience and reflection Sharing of language tips and strategies
Bissoonauth-Bedford & Stace (2012) Student feedback Brief anonymous written feedback, 48 responses, about benefits and future improvement Oral interview of a focus-group, 4 respondents (who highly represented the 3 types of learning: building and sharing grammar knowledge and awareness with each other, connecting language with culture and society, sharing language tips and strategies with one another)
Bissoonauth-Bedford & Stace (2012) Feedback Results pointed to instances of scaffolding each other in a variety of ways that supported the learning process pointed to the thinking that interaction and support had stimulated students’ cognitive development and self-evaluation or reflection skills 1 student admitted no benefits; he preferred F 2 F instruction “good to read other people’s questions and know they are having similar problems – answers my questions. ”
Huang, Lin, & Chiang (2010) Study designed with the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21 st Century (5 C’s) as the instructional goals. [Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, Communities] Sample: 21 students (12 males, 9 females) of beginning level Chinese as a Foreign Language course in a midwestern university in the U. S.
Huang, Lin, & Chiang (2010) 4 modules of CMS Drupal: Writing module – for blogs using learned vocabulary and grammar Opinion exchange module – a situated place to voice opinions and exchange discussions Oral communication module – uses Voice Thread for asynchronous online oral presentations Teamwork module – wiki interface for groups working together as a team on the script for a 5 -10 minute skit.
Huang, Lin, & Chiang (2010) Data collected from: Instructor questionnaire: 1 -on-1 in-depth interview using open-ended Qs. Instructor was asked to reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of the competency-based blended learning and to comment on the survey results from the students. Student questionnaire: 5 -point 24 -question Likert scale survey to elicit students’ responses based on their voluntary participation. (n=13)
Huang, Lin, & Chiang (2010) 4 sections of the student questionnaire: traditional vs blended learning (11 Qs, M = 3. 28) design of the online platform (4 Qs, M = 3. 68) content of the platform (3 Qs, M = 3. 69) adult learning and learning community (6 Qs, M = 3. 41)
Huang, Lin, & Chiang (2010) Most students did not feel that traditional classroom method was insufficient (average = 2. 00; can be interpreted as students’ recognition and appreciation of the teaching delivered by their instructor in the classroom). Students thought the website did not contribute to their learning of Chinese culture (average = 2. 38; culture not explicitly discussed because of time constraints). Students found it difficult to write online (average = 2. 92).
Ferriman (2013) Quasi-experimental study on the impact of a blended-learning environment on academic writing assignments in English Conducted at a Thai international college (medium of instruction was English, all students native speakers of Thai) Aimed to investigate the effectiveness of an online bulletin board in helping students develop their skills in academic literacy Skills included: finding information from outside sources and then evaluating, synthesizing, and incorporating the data into assignments, accurately cited and using APA format
Ferriman (2013) Sample: 38 students (20 male, 18 female), between 18 -21 years old Experimental group: intact class of 20 (Jan -Mar 2008); used Nicenet, an online bulletin board, as well as F 2 F communication in class to share information for essay topics they were preparing Control group: 18 students (May-Jul 2008), reconstituted from 2 small classes merged only for statistical purposes; used only F 2 F for the same task
Ferriman (2013) Both groups: had the same teacher. Met twice a week for 2 hours each session. Were compared on 3 variables for each of the essays they wrote: word count, number of references, and essay score.
Ferriman (2013) Pretest -- grades from the previous English academic writing course ICC 104 (correlated with the GPA at. 54 p =. 002 on the Spearman r) Hypothesis: the use of the bulletin board would compensate for the larger class size of the experimental group and result in no difference in performance between the 2 groups
Ferriman (2013) (Main) Independent variable: use or nonuse of Nicenet for posting research Dependent variables: measurements on the essays they wrote (word count, number of references, and essay score)
Ferriman (2013) Program: Two 2 -hour classes a week Activities: brainstorming, discussing, identifying areas of possible research for essay topics Groups of 2 -4 students tasked with research work on behalf of the rest of the class Experimental groups posted at least 2 quality pieces of research info on each topic (via Nicenet)
Ferriman (2013) Program: 3 separate essay topics, 1 of which selected randomly Over the duration of the course, Ss prepared 9 essay outlines and wrote up 3 of them under test conditions Types of essays written: Cause and Effect, Response, Argumentation essays
Ferriman (2013) Results: Experimental group had higher means on 6 of the 9 outcomes, suggesting EG might have more than matched CG performance. No significant differences on the 3 variables It appears that the use of Nicenet may have mediated for large class size and offset the advantages of a small class. Hypothesis accepted.
Al-Jarf (2004) Sample: 113 female freshman students in a 12 week writing class at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia (all native Arabic speakers, median age = 18) Control group: 51, enrolled in the fall of 2000 (taught by researcher in a traditional setting) Experimental group: 62, enrolled in the spring of 2001 (also taught by researcher using F 2 F instruction and Blackboard Web-based component to locate information on themes covered in the assigned textbook from Internet sites)
Al-Jarf (2004) Pretest: essay writing task Posttest at the end of the course (and treatment): letter writing task, 4 texts with objective Qs covering all grammar and writing tasks covered over the semester, and posttest essay that the students had not seen or practiced in class or in the Web-based component
Al-Jarf (2004) Pretest and posttest essays holistically graded based on a general impression of content, organization, cohesion, word choice, language use, and mechanics. All essays read once and given a quality rating of high, above average, below average, or low. They were then read a 2 nd time and assigned a grade by the researcher and another faculty member in the university
Al-Jarf (2004) Ss wrote two 1 -paragraph essays a week during the semester. Took 6 quizzes (3 paragraph writing, 3 on topics covered in class)
Al-Jarf (2004) Independent t test of pretest scores: 4. 53 (df = 111, p <. 01) in favor of the control group Posttest showed experimental group outperformed the control group (M = 79. 94 and 74. 75, respectively) with less variation among the experimental group (SD = 14. 7) than the controls (SD = 17. 11)
Al-Jarf (2004) The experimental students’ responses to the post-treatment questionnaire indicated use of technology had a positive effect on their attitude towards the writing process. It enhanced their self-esteem, motivation, and sense of achievement and improvement.
Zhang, Song, & Burston (2011) Pretest: TOEFL vocabulary section. 30 MC questions. A vocab word was underlined in a statement and test takers asked to choose the word in the 4 choices that had the same meaning as the underlined one. Pretest revealed no significant differences (p >. 05) between groups. Mean: 33. 34 (SMS) and 37. 13. SD: 14. 30 (SMS) and 15. 21.
Zhang, Song, & Burston (2011) SMS (experimental group) studied a selected list of 130 vocabulary items via mobile phone SMS text messages by China Mobile. 5 items per delivery. 2 x delivery per day (lunch and dinner hours). Deliver (bulk delivery to all 32 students). Group took the posttest at the end of the 3 -week experiment.
Zhang, Song, & Burston (2011) Paper (control group) worked on the same list through face-to-face distribution of the entire list of 130 items on sheets of paper. Told to memorize the vocabulary items on a daily basis at a self regulated pace within the same period of time as the SMS. Posttest on the same day as that of the SMS.
Zhang, Song, & Burston (2011) Posttest: 100 items from the TOEFL vocabulary section (where the 130 words for learning came from) Test covered: pronunciation (indicated in phonetic transcription), part of speech, Chinese translation, sentence examples containing the word. Test delivered through paper and SMS text messages for respective groups.
Zhang, Song, & Burston (2011) Results of posttest: SMS did significantly better (t = 2. 45, p <. 05). Means: 88. 41 (SMS) and 79. SDs: 12. 00 (SMS) and 15. 87.
Zhang, Song, & Burston (2011) Both groups were given delayed test in the 5 th week F 2 F but on different dates (SMS on Thursday, Paper on Friday). Results of delayed test: SMS had higher retention rate. However, no significant difference in the performance of both (t =. 47, p = >. 05).
Zhang, Song, & Burston (2011) SMS also asked to submit a written report on their experiences of vocabulary learning with mobile phones within a week (n = 25). Report submitted through a learning system and covered 8 open-ended Qs, from effective use of mobile phones for vocabulary learning to its advantages and disadvantages.
Next blended learning conference • A conference devoted to the purposeful, strategic and comprehensive approach to blended teaching and learning • Tweet at https: //www. twitter. com/OLCToday • Unconference Twitter: #unblend 18 • 2018 Annual Sloan Consortium Blended Learning Conference and Workshop (henceforth called Online Learning Consortium) • OLC Innovate • April 18 -20, 2018 • Gaylord Opryland – Nashville, TN
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