Students’ perceptions of a blended web-based learning environment

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A review of the Chandra,Darrell &Fisher (2009) paper

Research Findings:

In this study Science students from a secondary school in Australia were introduced to a blended learning environment known as Getsmart,a teacher-designed interactive website.   Students’ evaluations were observed over a 10 week period.  The ‘electronic cognitive apprenticeship teaching model’ IDEM Collins et al. 1989 (cited in Chandra,v.,Fisher,D.L.,2009) was the basis for developing the website.  Positive feedback from the study showed students liked being able to work at their own pace,they also enjoyed the interactivity of the web-based environment.  Students could email their teachers or use the ‘chat’ feature to communicate online although many students preferred to liaise with their teacher’s on a ‘face to face’.   This research project provided evidence in support of a blended learning environment from the students prospective

Implications for Practice:

Visual appeal,ease of access and clear instructions are essential elements to consider when developing an online learning environment.  In addition,for the course to be successful,the content needs to be scaffolded and sequenced in such a way that it maintains students’ interest whilst at the same allowing the student to work at their own pace.  Course content should be well organised and easy to follow while a consistent design that uses colour coded categories,tags and hyper links can help students navigate the online environment.   Embedding external websites into the blended learning platform,helps to keep students focused and on task by placing their learning in context.

Reference:

Vinesh Chandra Æ Darrell L. Fisher
Students’ perceptions of a blended web-based learning environment
Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009 Published online:10 January 2009
Learning Environ Res (2009) 12:31–44,DOI 10.1007/s10984-008-9051-6

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