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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Blended Vs. Traditional Course Delivery: Comparing Students' Motivation and Learning Outcomes

#Twitter: 
#blended92115
Presenter(s)
Hungwei Tseng (Jacksonville State University, USA)
Eamonn Walsh Jr (Jacksonville State University, USA)
Session Information
July 8, 2015 - 9:10am
Track: 
Teaching & Learning Effectiveness
Areas of Special Interest: 
None of the above
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research and Evaluation
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Intermediate
Session Type: 
Information Session
Location: 
Plaza Ballroom D
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Session: 
Concurrent Session 4
Virtual Session
Abstract

This study quantitatively compares the motivation, learning outcomes, achievement, and personal preferences of students in a blended class with those in a matched traditional class.

Extended Abstract

Blended vs. Traditional Course Delivery:
Comparing Students' Motivation, Learning Outcomes, and Preferences
Hungwei Tseng
Eamonn Joseph Walsh, Jr.
Jacksonville State University

Introduction
In the early 21th century, the integration of synchronous or asynchronous learning technologies provided instructors with innovative ways to deliver learning content and activities. Thus, online learning or distance learning has emerged as a significant and viable method of course delivery in higher education. Research has found that online learning systems can provide personalized and adaptive instruction that can be creatively customized to suit individual capability and learning styles (Al-Khanjari, 2014; Downes, 2005) and also engage students (Cho & Cho, 2014; Sydnor, Sass, Adeola, & Snuggs, 2014) in active learning with interactive materials and resources. However, some strengths of face-to-face learning from the social constructivist perspective (e.g. level of human connection, social interaction, and comment spontaneity) are often deficient or even unavailable in online learning environments (Bonk & graham, 2006; Woo & Reeves, 2007). Consequently, it is important for educators to take such deficiencies into account when considering the most effective and appropriate methods of delivering instruction.
Blended learning (BL) is one of the various methods being adopted to deliver meaningful learning experiences (Lim & Morris, 2009) and is found to be effective in addressing diverse learning styles (Bielawski & Metcalf, 2003). In addition, BL can foster social interaction, increase access to knowledge, and increase the amount of teacher presence (Osguthorpe & Graham, 2003). In fact, educators have predicted that BL will become the "new normal" in higher education course delivery (Norberg, Dziuban, & Moskal, 2011). According to Heinze and Proctor (2004), blended learning is defined as "learning that is facilitated by the effective combination of different modes of delivery, models of teaching and styles of learning, and founded on transparent communication amongst all parties involved with a course" (p. 12).
In the first decade of blended learning research, researchers have been exploring and experimenting with BL in the instructional and practical aspects, across discipline and context, and at a single-course and institutional-wide levels. Halverson, Graham, Spring, and Drysdale (2012) conducted a thematic analysis to search for the center of this emerging area of BL studies and concluded that BL research covers the topics in instructional design, disposition, exploration, leaner outcomes, comparison, technology, and interaction. Aspden and Helm (2004) explored student engagement and interaction in the context of a blended environment and reported that a blended approach facilitates connections and engagement between students and the other aspects of their learning experience. The findings in Riffel and Sibley's (2005) study revealed that blended course format was better or equivalent to the traditional course and students showed more evidence of learning gains. While these findings support the positive effect of blended learning, there is a lack of research on students' level of learning motivation and how students can be motivated in blended learning environments (Rovai & Downey, 2010). According to Clayton, Blumberg, and Auld (2010), motivation is still an important factor in learning despite the developing of innovative ways to deliver instruction. Hence, there is a need to better understand the principles of motivation and the extent to which it influences teaching and learning.
Purpose of the study
This study seeks to compare and assess students' experiences and perceptions in a blended and a traditional course, as well as their level of learning motivation, level of learning outcomes and skills, and learning achievement.
Research Questions
The research questions that guided the investigation are:
RQ1: Is there a statistically significant difference between students who attended a blended course and those who attended a traditional course on their level of learning motivation?
RQ2: Is there a statistically significant difference between students who attended a blended course and those who attended a traditional course on their level of learning outcomes and skills?
RQ3: Is there a statistically significant difference between students who attended a blended course and those who attended a traditional course on their learning achievement?
RQ4: What are students' perceptions toward blended course delivery method?

Method
Sample Selection
Purposive sampling strategies will be used to select the participants of this study. First, instructors who are teaching one section of an undergraduate or graduate class using the face-to-face format while, in the same semester (Spring 2015), teaching another section of the same class in a hybrid/blended format will be identified. Second, the researchers will grant those instructors' permission to invite students to participant in this study.
Instrumentation
Course Interest Survey (CIS). Keller and Subhiyah's (1993) CIS was adapted to measure learning motivation and it included 34 Likert-type items ranging from 1 (not true) to 5 (very true). The survey was designed using the ARCS model (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction) as the theoretical foundation (Keller, 1987a, 1987b). Attention and confidence subscales have eight items each while relevance and satisfaction subscales have nine items each.
Learning Outcomes and Skills Assessment Scale. The 4-item scale designed by Chen and Jones (2007) was adapted and utilized to assess students' skills commonly named as desirable for development in university curricula. All items are measured on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).

Data Collection and Data Analysis
At the mid-term, the Course Interest Survey (CIS) and the Learning Outcomes and Skills Assessment Scale will be distributed to students as an online survey format. All participants are allowed a week to complete both surveys. In addition, participants' final grades of the course will be calculated by the instructor in the finals week and send them to the researchers.
To answer research questions 1 to 3, the independent t-test analyses will be conducted to exam if there is a statistically significant difference in students' level of learning motivation (RQ1), level of learning outcomes and skills (RQ2), and learning achievement (RQ3) between the blended and traditional courses. Descriptive analysis will be conducted to answer the research question four.
Results
This study is currently in the data collection phase. All results and findings will be presented and discussed at the conference.