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A Blended Learning Approach to Course Design and Implementation

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3 Author(s)
Natasa Hoic-Bozic ; Dept. of Inf. Sci., Univ. of Rijeka, Rijeka ; Vedran Mornar ; Ivica Boticki

Blended learning has become an increasingly popular form of e-learning, and is particularly suitable to the process of transitioning towards e-learning from traditional forms of learning and teaching. This paper describes the use of the blended e-learning model, which is based on a mixture of collaborative learning, problem-based learning (PBL) and independent learning, in a course ldquoTeaching Methods in Information Science,rdquo given at the University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia. This model is realized as a combination of a face-to-face environment and online learning, using a proprietary learning management system (LMS) named adaptive hypermedia courseware (AHyCo). AHyCo is based on adaptive hypermedia and in addition to supporting learning and testing, introduces completely new constructivist and cognitivist elements to education. By supporting collaborative and project-oriented activities AHyCo promotes students' motivation for learning and establishes learning as an active and interactive process. This paper describes both the technology for, and the methodological approach to, course design and development which is aimed at supporting the evolution from traditional teaching to active learning, and raising interest in the topics of e-learning and Web courseware development among IT students. A survey conducted in the end of the course showed that students were satisfied with the pedagogical approach, and their academic achievements were also better than expected. Particularly important is that the dropout rate was greatly diminished, which could be related to students' satisfaction with the support they received from the instructor and the system.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 1 )