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How Blended Learning Reduces Underachievement in Higher Education: An Experience in Teaching Computer Sciences

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4 Author(s)
Fernando Alonso ; Departmento de Lenguajes, Sistemas Informáticos e Ingeniería del Software, Facultad de Informática, UPM, Madrid, Spain ; Daniel Manrique ; Loïc Martinez ; José M. Vines

This paper presents a blended learning approach and a study evaluating instruction in a software engineering-related course unit as part of an undergraduate engineering degree program in computing. In the past, the course unit had a lecture-based format. In view of student underachievement and the high course unit dropout rate, a distance-learning system was deployed, where students were allowed to choose between a distance-learning approach driven by a moderate constructivist instructional model or a blended-learning approach. The results of this experience are presented, with the aim of showing the effectiveness of the teaching/learning system deployed compared to the lecture-based system previously in place. The grades earned by students under the new system, following the distance-learning and blended-learning courses, are compared statistically to the grades attained in earlier years in the traditional face-to-face classroom (lecture-based) learning.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 3 )