June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1391.1 - 12.1391.13
The Blended Classroom: The Best of Both Worlds?
Most universities offer the traditional face-to-face class. With the rise in technology, online courses are now becoming popular. Although not a new concept, the blended classroom has the opportunity to blend the best features of the online and classroom environment. This research was conducted to determine if blended courses provided evidence of student satisfaction and cost savings compared to face-to-face courses. A Five Pillar Quality Framework was used to assess blended courses. Five engineering education courses offered in both the face-to-face format and blended format were used. Grades were analyzed using a t-test, and the results of a survey given to students are presented. The results supported prior research that a blended course offers student satisfaction. Cost savings were also realized based on reduced travel time to off-campus locations. The blended classroom may be the best of both worlds.
Highly trained engineers are needed in the workforce. With technological change, traditional training methods are being transformed; making blended learning one of the hottest buzzwords. This training mixes various learning approaches, including e-learning, face-to-face classrooms, self-paced modules, interactive television, and videos. Although blended learning is not a new concept, universities are seeing the advantages of offering different course formats to aid in student learning. Most universities give students the choice of face-to-face or online courses. Engineering education programs are usually harder to teach in a fully online environment because of the need for laboratories, machinery, chemicals or equipment. The structure of the classroom blended with the Web could be the answer for engineering education. Blended learning can be described as the optimum balance of online and face-to-face classes that foster student learning at reasonable costs. The limited literature on blended learning is full of examples from all disciplines. A number of universities (State University of New York, University of Massachusetts, University of South Florida, and Penn State University) have converted entire programs to the blended format1. Other universities are considering the blended format as an option to increase student learning and decrease costs. The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the increase of blended learning course formats and provide evidence of student satisfaction and cost savings using a quality assessment model. While the research on blended learning is just beginning, colleges and universities are seeing the pedagogical advantages. It is hoped that this paper will get a dialog started. The blended classroom: Is it the best of both worlds?
What is blended learning?
The traditional face-to-face classroom is still the norm in most universities. With the availability of Web-based technologies, numerous classes also include a Website where students have access to assignments and grade books2. This type of class is called Web-enhanced. A Web-enhanced class is considered an extension of the traditional face-to-face class. While face-to-face classes
Scott, S. (2007, June), The Blended Classroom: The Best Of Both Worlds? Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2840
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