Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Curriculum and Instruction
Blended Online Learning (BOL) combines synchronous and asynchronous online learning in ways that potentially can overcome limitations of fully asynchronous online. Although BOL has been an emergent modality for decades, research on the experiences, benefits and challenges of its implementation has been limited. However, the Covid-19 pandemic forced many college courses to go fully online, including courses with hands-on learning components assumed to require face-to-face instruction to support learners. For this study, the pandemic disruption offered an authentic learning setting to investigate the learning and experiences of pre-service teachers in a technology course that was forced into a fully online BOL modality. Previously, the technology course was delivered in a Blended Learning modality (BL) that combined face-to-face computer lab meetings with asynchronous online materials and activities using a Learning Management System (LMS). BOL replaced face-to-face meeting with synchronous online (e.g., Zoom) meetings.The purpose of this study was to explore if BL and BOL course modalities would generate different student outcomes in terms of rubric scores obtained on a final project (competence), along with student-written reflections on the final project (confidence/self-efficacy) that covered topics and skills such as digital audio, digital video, and PowerPoint. The study showed that students enrolled in the BL modality obtained higher scores on the final project as compared to students engaged in the BOL modality. On the other hand, BOL students made a higher number of problem-solving statements in their written reflections about the final project, displaying an antifragile disposition. This study contributes to the existing body of research on online learning modalities by exploring the dimension of competency and self-efficacy of students enrolled in blended and blended online versions of a course with concentration on learning technology. The findings of this study can inform decisions of teacher education administrators and faculty about how they are going to integrate educational technology into Teacher Education Programs. Further, the study has implications for adopting BOL modality in a range of higher education courses in which fully online delivery has been resisted because of students’ assumed needs for face-to-face support in skills learning.
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