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ERIC Number: EJ799144
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-1743-9884
Encouraging Student Engagement in a Blended Learning Environment: The Use of Contemporary Learning Spaces
Holley, Debbie; Dobson, Caroline
Learning, Media and Technology, v33 n2 p139-150 Jun 2008
Research shows that some non-traditional students find the university environment alienating, impersonal and unsupportive. The "Quickstart' project combines traditional lectures and seminars with a sequence of carefully designed online tasks, aimed at lessening the impact of the start of year uncertainties for new students. One thousand students across two geographic locations participated in the programme. The project was evaluated by considering three sources of data: data generated by server statistics of 40,358 successful requests for pages in the first four weeks of teaching; student anonymous responses to an online end of course questionnaire as well as extracts from their reflective journals; and the student experience as viewed through the eyes of a researcher in the classroom. Findings offer insights into how the students blend classroom time with their own time; and student perceptions of their own learning experiences. A collaborative learning experience involving travel to a contemporary learning space (the Tate Modern Art Gallery) mitigated the possible isolating effect of the use of technology; instead the technology enhanced the discussion and participation in activities. The students visited the Tate Modern and then facilitated their discussions by sending each other SMS text messages; they bonded very quickly in the seminar groups, where weekly online tasks that had been prepared individually "outside" the classroom were the focus of group discussion and debate "inside the classroom"; their end of semester reflective writing showed very clearly how valuable the early "friendship" groups had been for them settling into university life. (Contains 3 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A