Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Blended Learning in Higher Education: Comparison of Faculty and Student Attitudes Regarding Course Effectiveness
by LaVergne, Debra Kaye, Ed.D., Northcentral University, 2014, 315; 3670922
Abstract (Summary)

A successful blended classroom includes the important essentials of both traditional and online education; creating a new approach to instructional learning. With the steadily increasing number of blended classes offered at community colleges, an opportunity exists to inform the purposeful planning of blended classes to best meet students' needs through identifying and comparing both faculty and students' perceived course effectiveness factors and challenges. The specific problem is that faculty and students' perceived factors for possible increased course effectiveness and their perceived challenges for decreased course effectiveness have not been previously identified then compared and contrasted. Filling the gap with this specific perception knowledge allows educators to more purposefully and strategically plan curriculum, thus increase student success. The purpose of this quantitative methodology research study was to examine perceived attitudes of blended learning faculty and students. Secondarily, best practices were identified for developing blended courses that promote quality higher education instruction and learner success as perceived by both the students and the faculty at a large community college in the Southwestern United States. Two web surveys were administered, one for faculty and one for students to gather data through quantitative and open-ended questions. For this purposeful sample study, the participants were 31 faculty members who taught blended classes and 171 students over the age of 18 who attended blended classes at the specific college during the Spring 2014 and Fall 2014 semesters. The quantitative data obtained from each of the surveys was analyzed through descriptive and inferential statistics. Sixteen t test independent two-sample assuming unequal variances found the results were split depending on the course effectiveness factor being addressed. The null hypothesis was rejected for six of the twelve benefit factors (flexibility, time management, instructor access, interactive learning materials, optimized class time, and success measured by withdrawal rates) and one of the four challenge factors (reduced access to instructor). Themes that emerged from the open-ended responses included the focus on flexibility, technology, self-efficacy, and communication. Many of the factors identified, if addressed, could increase the course effectiveness, satisfaction, retention and completion, and ultimately, successful student learning in the blended class modality.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dippold, Lindsey K.
Commitee: Shaw, Melanie
School: Northcentral University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 76/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Pedagogy, Educational technology, Curriculum development, Higher education
Keywords: Best practice, Blended learning, Course effectiveness factors, Faculty/student perceptions, Higher education, Hybrid learning
Publication Number: 3670922
ISBN: 978-1-321-47973-7
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