A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF THE INTEGRATION OF A BLENDED LEARNING APPROACH INTO A MULTIMEDIA APPLICATIONS MODULE
The concept of blended learning is not new. While research articles have outlined blending learning approaches across a number of disciplines, research studies on how blended learning design principles are implemented into existing modules in the discipline of multimedia studies are limited. This research aims to address that gap by critically evaluating the integration of a blended learning approach into a multimedia applications module at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT). The blended approach adopted is a pedagogical one which integrates synchronous online lectures with face-to-face learning in computer laboratories. Objectives of the study include: a critical review of the existing literature relating to blended learning, the application of an educational design research (EDR) framework and an evaluation of student experiences of blended learning in higher education (HE). A responsive case study is conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of integrating a blended learning approach into a multimedia applications module within GMIT and to evaluate the student learning experience. The methodology adopted for this study combines constructivism and pragmatism as a basis for a mixed methods design using a single responsive case study. This research builds on the work of previous scholars including McKenney & Reeves (2012), Graham et al. (2014), Tseng & Walsh (2016) and Wang et al. (2017). The key areas examined in this thesis include a critical analysis of literature in the field, an account of the research methodological framework and the methods employed, an analysis of findings and general conclusions from the study. Specific methods for data gathering include a questionnaire, focus group and personal interviews. Overall research findings indicate positive perceptions of the blend adopted in the areas of pedagogical, social and technical design. The results are also positive in relation to perceived differences in modes of delivery and student preference in modes of delivery. Findings suggest that the optimum blend has been reached in that theory is delivered synchronously online and students also have face-to-face practical classes in laboratories. Results in relation to whether students learn more in the synchronous online lecture than if it was delivered face-to-face and their preference for face-to-face discussions rather than online discussions are inconclusive. Further research is recommended in these areas.
The following license files are associated with this item: