Pedagogical and Design Aspects of a Blended Learning Course

  • Karen Precel The Open University of Israel
  • Yoram Eshet-Alkalai The Open University of Israel
  • Yael Alberton The Open University of Israel
Keywords: Online learning, blended-learning model, usability, pedagogical design

Abstract

Based on recent research reports, the blended learning model, which combines face-to-face and online learning, is now the preferred model for online course design. Its superiority over online learning, which lacks face-to-face interaction, is evident from studies that examined both student achievement and satisfaction. Nevertheless, there is ambiguity in the literature and in the field regarding the proper implementation of blended learning and the optimal proportions between online and F2F components in various learning scenarios. The range of contradictory reports in recent literature on the potential of different blended learning models shows the need for more research on specific blended learning courses in order to establish proper standards for effective course design and implementation. The present evaluation study focuses on students’ perceptions of pedagogical and design issues related to a new model for blended learning that was used in a graduate-level course at the Open University of Israel. Fifty-eight of the course’s 91 students participated in the study and completed a questionnaire regarding three major aspects of the course design: (1) pedagogy, (2) textbook format (print vs. digital), and (3) learning environment usability. The results illustrate the importance of completing the pedagogical and visual design of online learning in advance. Also, the course model suggests ways to bridge the gaps between students and instructors and students and their peers, which are typical of online learning in general and open universities in particular.

Author Biographies

Karen Precel, The Open University of Israel
Karen Precel is a Cognitive Psychologist and a PhD student at the School of Education, Tel-Aviv University, Israel and a researcher in SATEC. She is a faculty member at the Open University of Israel, Department of Education & Psychology, a usability consultant at the Open University Computer Center, and a researcher at the Chais Research Center for the Integration of Technology in Education. She has published several academic papers in journals and national and international conferences in her research work, including Technology in Education, Design of Computerized Learning Environments, E-learning, Usability and in Cognitive Psychology - ADHD and Learning and Reading Disabilities.
Yoram Eshet-Alkalai, The Open University of Israel
Yoram Eshet-Alkalai is a faculty member at the Open University of Israel, Department of Education & Psychology. He is the Coordinator of the MA program in educational technology and the Head of the Chais Research Center for the Integration of Technology in Education in the Open University. He holds a BA in Archeology (Hebrew University), MSc in Geology (Hebrew University) and PhD in Earth & Environmental Sciences (City University of NY). For a decade, he was the Head of the Instructional Design Program in the Tel Hai Academic College and a senior researcher in the Geological Survey of Israel. He has 15 years experience in developing technology-based instructional solutions for educational systems in Israel and the USA. In this capacity, he was involved in the design of hundreds of simulations, databases, tutorials and large-scale curriculum integration projects. His major research and publication interests focus on cognitive aspects of working with digital technologies, digital games, and design principles of computer-based learning environments. Personal site: http://www.openu.ac.il/Personal_sites/yorameshet.html.
Yael Alberton, The Open University of Israel
Yael Alberton is a statistician (M.A, Applied Statistics) and researcher in the Evaluation Department at the Open University. As part of her job, she is involved in all aspects of the evaluation of academic projects aimed to test the implications and effectiveness of technology in teaching and learning. She has submitted many reports on such evaluation projects to interested parties at the Open University and she has published several academic papers in international conferences.
Published
2009-04-29
How to Cite
Precel, K., Eshet-Alkalai, Y., & Alberton, Y. (2009). Pedagogical and Design Aspects of a Blended Learning Course. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v10i2.618