Sunday, 14 July 2013

Blending Makes the Difference - annotated bibliography entry

Senturk, A. & Uzun, A. (2010) Blending Makes the Difference: Comparison of Blended and Traditional Instruction on Students’ Performance and Attitudes in Computer Literacy. Contemporary Educational Technology, 1(3), 196-207 retrieved from

This study compared the learning outcomes for two university computer science classes. One class was taught in a traditional face to face lecture style, supported by slideshow presentations and lab time. This class was the control group.  The other class was taught in an instructed model where the class had a website developed for the course which included online lecture notes, simulations and online tutorials.  This site also enhanced students’ collaborative learning experiences through email, group questions and online student-teacher interaction.  Class time for this group facilitated discussions and lab practice.  The study noted no significant difference in student capability or attitude at the beginning of the course.  There was a significant difference in both student capability and attitude towards the subject between the two classes at the conclusion of the study.  Those in the blended class achieved higher scores in final assessments as well as demonstrating a more positive attitude towards the subject than the control group.

This study notes that the improved outcomes in both achievement and attitude are due to the multimedia and collaborative aspects of the blended learning environment.  The blended learning offers improved pedagogy, increased student access to instruction and knowledge, and encouraged social interaction between learners.   Because of this students are able to learn at their own pace and discuss questions arising both online and face to face.  Having access to online video tutorials allowed students to review instructions as needed as they worked through learning tasks.  By being able to continue learning and practicing new skills outside of the classroom lab time, students were able to work at their own pace and make better use of face to face time with the lecturer than in the traditional learning environment.  This study shows that having access to multimedia tutorials and collaborative online learning environments improves the academic achievement and attitude in university students.  For my own practice I would have to transfer this to be achievable at primary school level.

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