Good Practice Report : Blended Learning

Partridge, Helen, Ponting, Deborah, & McCay, Meryl (2011) Good Practice Report : Blended Learning. Australian Learning and Teaching Council.

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In early 2011, the Australian Learning and Teaching Council Ltd (ALTC) commissioned a series of Good Practice Reports on completed ALTC projects and fellowships. This report will:

• Provide a summative evaluation of the good practices and key outcomes for teaching and learning from completed ALTC projects and fellowships relating to blended learning • Include a literature review of the good practices and key outcomes for teaching and learning from national and international research • Identify areas in which further work or development are appropriate.

The literature abounds with definitions; it can be argued that the various definitions incorporate different perspectives, but there is no single, collectively accepted definition. Blended learning courses in higher education can be placed somewhere on a continuum, between fully online and fully face-to-face courses. Consideration must therefore be given to the different definitions for blended learning presented in the literature and by users and stakeholders. The application of this term in these various projects and fellowships is dependent on the particular focus of the team and the conditions and situations under investigation. One of the key challenges for projects wishing to develop good practice in blended learning is the lack of a universally accepted definition.

The findings from these projects and fellowships reveal the potential of blended learning programs to improve both student outcomes and levels of satisfaction. It is clear that this environment can help teaching and learning engage students more effectively and allow greater participation than traditional models. Just as there are many definitions, there are many models and frameworks that can be successfully applied to the design and implementation of such courses. Each academic discipline has different learning objectives and in consequence there can’t be only one correct approach. This is illustrated by the diversity of definitions and applications in the ALTC funded projects and fellowships.

A review of the literature found no universally accepted guidelines for good practice in higher education. To inform this evaluation and literature review, the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, as outlined by Chickering and Gamson (1987), were adopted:

  1. encourages contacts between students and faculty 2. develops reciprocity and cooperation among students 3. uses active learning techniques
  2. gives prompt feedback
  3. emphasises time on task
  4. communicates high expectations
  5. respects diverse talents and ways of learning.

These blended learning projects have produced a wide range of resources that can be used in many and varied settings. These resources include: books, DVDs, online repositories, pedagogical frameworks, teaching modules. In addition there is valuable information contained in the published research data and literature reviews that inform good practice and can assist in the development of courses that can enrich and improve teaching and learning.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 47566
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Keywords: blended learning, best practice, higher education, Australian Learning and Teaching Council, HERN
ISBN: 978-1-921856-81-5
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Helen Partridge, Deborah Ponting, Meryl McCay
Copyright Statement: Support for the original work was provided by the Australian
Learning and Teaching Council Ltd, an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
Deposited On: 08 Dec 2011 22:21
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:45

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