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Poster 6

Student-centred blended learning approaches for student success

Dr Christina Malamateniou - Programme director  | School of Health Sciences

Dr Sophie Willis - Programme director | School of Health Sciences

Sara Bensalah - UG year 3 student in Diagnostic Radiography   | School of Health Sciences

Ali Khandakar - UG year 3 student in Diagnostic Radiography   | School of Health Sciences

Background

Blended learning brings the digital world and in-class teaching together via an approach that supports a range of learning-styles and life-styles. Identifying aspects that students evaluate as supportive, challenging and efficient in their learning is important for the design of blended learning courses that promote resilience, encourage enduring learning and student progression.

Methods

A blended learning set-up including 1)didactic teaching, 2)online videos and electronic resources in a flipped classroom approach, 3)interactive classroom activity-based teaching was introduced into a third-year module for undergraduate students. Evaluation was undertaken via students’ written reflective feedback, which aimed to explore the benefits and the potential challenges, to ensure optimisation of future teaching provisions.  This is the beginning of a pilot study to understand student experiences of blended learning approaches and identify areas for improvement.

Results

Respondents identified that they valued this approach asit helps them build confidence to contribute to sessions and it genuinely addresses their learning needs. They particularly enjoyed the interactive classroom teaching as one that bridged the gap between theory-and-practice, helping them consolidate theoretical online and in-classroom knowledge. It also ensured the students had more time to reflect on practice, by offering different prompts online and in-classroom. Importantly, online videos relating to applying theory and the flipped classroom approach ensured  rich in-classroom discussions; consequently, teaching was more often facilitatory in approach, encouraging students to produce knowledge, which is enduring, experience-based and applicable to numerous contexts. Respondents reported that they engaged more into discussion with their peers and exchanged ideas on current topics, which made the classroom sessions more enjoyable. They commended that blended learning might be better suited to smaller group sizes, to allow deeper reflection; they would also value multidisciplinary input.

Discussion/conclusions

Blended learning is a valuable teaching approach. High quality teaching should be delivered both online and in-classroom to ensure the benefits of this approach are maximised. This is a pilot study on student feedback in radiographyis essential to help improve engagement, reflection and resilience.

References

Waha, B, Davis K. (2014) University students’ perspective on blended learning. Journal of Higher education policy and management 36:2:172-182.

Harrison DR, Kannuka H. (2004) Blended learning uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The internet and higher education 7:2: 95-105

Bonk CJ, Graham CR. (2006) The handbook of blended learning: global perspectives, local designs. San Francisco: Pfeiffer , 176-217