Student transitions in blended learning

Adekola, J. , Dale, V. H.M. and Gardiner, K. (2016) Student transitions in blended learning. Stirling Learning and Teaching Conference 2016: Changing Places: Student Transitions in Higher Education, Stirling, UK, 20 Apr 2016. (Unpublished)

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Blended learning approaches are increasingly being adopted in UK Higher Education Institutions, and the University of Glasgow has made a substantial strategic investment in this area. In this context, we defer to Garrison and Kanuka’s (2004) definition of blended learning as an optimally designed combination of online and face-to-face learning. Such technology-enhanced learning approaches provide affordances for more flexible, student-centred learning experiences (Gordon, 2014). This presentation captures the experiences of students transitioning to increase blended learning at the University of Glasgow, particularly as they relate to a blended experience at the programme level. The outcomes from evaluation data from two undergraduate Classics online courses, and a focus group with learners enrolled on an online research methods course as part of a blended programme in a business school, will be presented here. Data collection is ongoing to capture and compare the experiences of blended learning by home versus international, and undergraduate versus postgraduate, learners. In terms of advantages of blended learning, participants identified clear pedagogical benefits including the ability to study flexibly, and enhanced engagement with the course material. However, some learners felt isolated and considered that there was scope for more immediate feedback from – and greater interaction with – their teachers. Studying an entirely online course within an otherwise face-to-face programme was seen as challenging; although participants considered that the courses promoted independent working, some struggled with motivation and time management. The experience of blended learning by international students revealed particular benefits and challenges. The ability to replay online resources was seen to be especially helpful for students with English as a Second Language. However, one semester was seen as too short a time for international master’s students to acclimatise to a blended programme format. The findings have implications for curriculum design as well as study skills support around blended curricula.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Adekola, Dr Josephine and Gardiner, Mr Kerr and Dale, Dr Vicki
Authors: Adekola, J., Dale, V. H.M., and Gardiner, K.
College/School:University Services > Learning and Teaching Services Division
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