Crosling, et al.

A Study of the use of Blended Learning/Online Learning Tools in a Higher Education Institution in an ASEAN country

Glenda Crosling, Sunway University, Malaysia
Angela Siew Hoong Lee, Sunway University, Malaysia
Don Passey, Lancaster University, United Kingdom


Blended learning (BL) tools are increasingly used in higher education (HE) due to global technological advancements. BL tools for this study are online tools integrated with face-to-face teaching that support program management and expedite some educational processes like assignment submission. Importantly, BL can enhance the development of students’ higher cognition skills through the communication and active learning it supports. Academic staff who design and implement BL programs are key parties in BL implementation. However, there is limited information available on academic staff uses and perspectives on BL. This study addresses this gap by drawing on a large-scale quantitative survey and responses to qualitative open-ended questions of members of the academic staff in a private HE institution in Malaysia. The study investigates what digital tools they used in their teaching, why they used them, and their impact on their students’ learning. We found that the tools most used were limited in their support for students’ higher skills development and were mainly used for efficiency in program management. We recommend that staff professional development (PD) in BL be required. The study adds to the BL literature as it advocates for staff technological skills development fused with pedagogical approaches to develop students’ higher cognitive skills. 

Keywords: blended learning, higher education, academic staff, 21st century learning skills, program management


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