Asee peer logo

Blended Learning: Enriching The Class Activity With Technology

Download Paper |


2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.317.1 - 12.317.10

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Mark Russell University of Hertfordshire

visit author page

Mark Russell's teaching and learning interests are varied, and include exploring the effective use of technologies to support in-class activities, developing collaborative learning opportunities and developing innovative tools for electronic-assessment. Marks current interests lie in the area of Just-In-Time teaching and using the students' own understandings to help guide the lecture experience. In addition to winning the UK e-tutor of the year (2003) Mark was awarded a UK National Teaching Fellowship (2005).

Mark spreads his time between the School of Aerospace, Automotive and Design Engineering and the Blended Learning Unit at the University of Hertfordshire, UK.

visit author page

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Blended learning - enriching the class activity with technology


Blended learning presents new opportunities. Opportunities to enhance the conventional lecture experience and also stimulate the students outside the lecture theatre. This paper provides some drivers for learning and indicates some of the influences likely to impact on the development of a blended learning curriculum. To situate the work an example of blended learning from an Engineering Science module is presented. Here the use of an Electronic Voting System, animations, use of a tablet pc and active use of a Managed Learning Environment is presented.


Whilst traditional classroom-based activity present an opportunity to transmit information, a better view is one where the lecture is seen as a place for the lecturer to inspire, enthuse and participate in a so called learning conversation; a conversation that actively seeks out, and uses, the students’ own conceptions to re-align what is taught, what is asked and hence better develop what is understood. Such principles are captured in strategies including Laurillard’s Conversational Framework(1). For many teachers this idea requires a significant change in how they view their role in the classroom and their relationship with their students. In a dialogic model of teaching and learning the teachers too are learning, adapting and responding to the students and not simply being a knowledge provider. Problems often arise with the dialogic view of teaching in that growing class sizes and the available 'bandwidth' for the lecturer and student to communicate quickly becomes saturated. Saturation of the bandwidth often results in teachers adopting a more didactic and less engaged teaching practice which may reduce the support for the individual learner.

Fortunately, given that technology in the 21st century is ubiquitous, it is in our homes, our cars and our pockets it is no surprise that it is filtering into the everyday classroom too. Information and communication technologies (ICT) present an additional connectivity; a connectivity that widens the bandwidth and allows greater participation between teacher and learner and also learner to learner. Such technologies, however, need to have a purpose and they need to be ‘solving a problem’ not being used because they exist. Quite simply, technology needs to support sound pedagogic practice and not displace it.

This paper demonstrates how the active and innovative use of ICT can support and enrich the class activity and also meet many of the recognised principles of good practice in undergraduate education.

Some underpinning principles

If technologies are to be exploited for learning then their affordances need to align with what is required. Teaching teams (faculty) should not ask what technologies should they use but rather undertake a needs analysis that includes and asks

o What actually are our needs and why might we wish to do things differently? o What are we doing currently and what evidence do we have that it works and should be kept?

Russell, M. (2007, June), Blended Learning: Enriching The Class Activity With Technology Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015