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ERIC Number: EJ982462
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-1470-3297
Hitting the Nail on the Head: The Importance of Specific Staff Development for Effective Blended Learning
Owens, Tessa
Innovations in Education and Teaching International, v49 n4 p389-400 2012
Developing effective teaching practices within the higher education sector is an area of growing concern. Universities within the UK are judged on their competence in this area by mechanisms such as the National Student Survey and universities are anxious to be perceived as offering good quality teaching and learning experiences. The use of technologies, such as online learning environments, has pervaded many university courses and the teaching "blend" increasingly relies upon these technologies to contribute towards programme delivery. It is claimed that student learning is supported by these systems; however, many academics remain frustrated with these teaching mediums. This paper reports results from a survey of 529 UK university lecturers who answered questions on their pedagogical beliefs and online teaching practices. The survey found a considerable difference between university lecturers' reported pedagogical beliefs and their actual practices when teaching online and concludes that online learning environments are rarely used effectively to promote student learning and any benefits attributed to their use can, therefore, be assumed to be largely rhetorical. Some student-centred practice was found, however. Those lecturers with teaching qualifications who had received specific training in the use of online learning environments were significantly more likely to use these environments in an effective way. Notably, more general forms of learning and teaching development appeared to contribute little to effective practice in this area. As UK universities face challenging financial constraints, the proportion of the online teaching "blend" seems likely to increase in order to achieve more cost-effective programmes. The empirical research reported here suggests that in order to ensure that this blend is effective, and promotes student learning, specific pedagogical and technological staff development in this area is vital. (Contains 6 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: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom