Blended Learning: Moving Beyond the Thread Quality of Blended Learning and Instructor Experiences
Jenine A. Kastner, Centenary University
In higher education, teaching and learning are undergoing a variety of innovations that involve the use of technology through blended learning. This pedagogical approach has been popular and expanding quickly in institutions internationally with a shift in focus from the technological aspects of learning management systems to theoretical frameworks to enhance practices in a move from traditional to blended learning. This study explores the benefits, barriers, and professional development practices utilized in higher education settings to implement blended learning classes. This quantitative research analyzed the practices of blended learning as an approach to teaching and learning in higher education through survey research. This study includes additional insight and understanding of the current and future trends regarding how to surpass these barriers and enhance the overall practices of blended learning. Higher education institutions can utilize this blended learning research to develop comprehensive guidelines and increase collaboration and innovation to improve practices and move beyond the threaded discussions. This study concluded that instructors rate the quality of the educational experience in their blended learning courses as superior or very superior compared to the traditional face-to-face format of instruction and that a lack of professional development is impacting the growth and effectiveness of the blended learning environment in higher education.
Keywords: blended learning, higher education, professional development, teaching, learning