This study will research and analyze a hybrid classroom’s blended learning environments, online classrooms, and face-to-face in-person learning. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of both traditional and blended instruction in students ́ performance. The studies conducted are surrounded by the design and development that play an intricate part in identifying students’ learning needs and the course’s objectives. My paper will discuss the test analysis on independent samples and statistical differences in students’ performance. This paper will also present all learning styles as an alternative teaching practice that educators should embrace to shape our future leaders improve their performance.
Keywords: blended, remote learning, face-to-face, traditional
Chapter One: Statement Of The Problem
In the society we live in today, the continuous development of technology, blended with instruction, continues to emerge as the most prominent means of instruction within education. The argument continues to present the assumption that there is the belief that face-to-face interactions have advantages. However, there are benefits to using online methods. The blended learning component provides a mixture of traditional, face-to-face, and online learning so that instruction occurs in both the classroom and online (Clark & James, Sept 2005). This type of education is essential to point out because it is a valuable component as it has a linkage to the natural extension of traditional classroom learning. Researchers have acknowledged that blended instruction is the emergence of blending both online and traditional, giving students the advantage of learning at a different pace.
The traditional learning environment of Face -To -Face instruction has proven to work. However, no matter how intensively technology is used, research supports that there are restrictions in traditional learning. These restrictions include limited one-to-one teacher-to-student interaction, delays in giving feedback, and materials the instructor can use in the classroom. Perhaps one of the best reasons to develop blended courses is to provide a viable option for students who seek the flexibility of distance-only classes and wish to have some personal contact with faculty and other students in classroom settings. Blended learning goes beyond barriers of time, location, and culture and has created many enhanced opportunities for learners and instructors (Kerres & De Witt, 2003). In other words, blended learning endeavors to purposefully and seamlessly integrate online and traditional learning to create a distinct, new approach with its own merits (Kerres & De Witt, 2003).
In discovery, the general problem addressed within this research study revealed a population of teachers blending new technological methods with modern methods concerning online and traditional face-to-face instruction. The findings revealed that they did not know what they were doing, nor did they realize if the results had any bearing on the enhanced student learning outcomes. Our society is presently under scrutinization to align curriculums across the country as our government’s recent initiatives call for more technical skills in our education communities (Kakuchi, 2014).
The matter presents two problems. The first problem is that our current teachers actively working in our school systems were educated and taught in a different era. The second problem is that this fast-paced society has shifted the communications ignoring the current practice, which are soon to become prudent to the digital age. The assumptions have become factual as teachers are now consumed with burdens, challenges, keeping pace, or the risk of being replaced by technology (Gedik et al., 2013).
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to shed some light on the unpreparedness of our teachers who are being adversely impacted by the integrating of technology into the school systems. The implementation of teaching is undoubtedly impacting teachers who do not have technology skills, contributing to the decline of teaching methods, student learning outcomes, and ultimately the demise of many teachers’ careers.
Limitation of Study
Like other types of researches or studies, blended learning has its pros and cons. Within our society, the learning platforms and environments are unparalleled as they can be applied to traditional learning values and incorporate the blended as well. The blended method offers more efficient, effective, and appealing opportunities for learners. The blended approach offers more engagement, retention, learners are motivated, and an attractive learning environment (Garnham & Kaleta, July 2009). The limitations of blended learning and traditional can be unrestrained and versatile as educational settings can become invaluable motivational factors or become sources of cognitive dissonance. This research study has limitations because it focuses on demographics, varying degrees of teacher experience, and too large of a population to focus on a targeted group (Garrison & Kanuka 2004).
Definitions of Terms
- Blended classroom learning is an approach towards education that combines educational resources and interactions with both teacher and student online.
- Traditional classroom involves curriculum, in-person delivery, standardized testing, and a teacher who regulates information and knowledge flow.
Chapter Two: Literature Review
Traditional Classroom Instruction
According to Khalaf (2018), instructors assume the classroom’s overriding responsibility and authority in the traditional learning environment. It is believed that teachers know and understand the learners’ needs, and the classroom should strictly adhere to specific places and times. Educators deliver their lessons based on strict study programs or syllabus for the current curriculum, which scholars argue ignores the progressive or gradual development of the learners’ knowledge.
While examining the assessment model in a traditional learning environment, Renau (2016) argued that the conventional education setting’s examination approach presents an obstacle for students to attain a deeper understanding of knowledge. The examination model leads to a superficial learning model where learners are forced to memorize knowledge instead of understanding it (Renau 2016). As such, learners in the traditional setting encounter significant drawbacks and challenges in practice and problem-solving environments. The author further added that the conventional education models have failed to fulfill the educational system’s expectations to produce expert learners.
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Scholars have also argued that the traditional learning approach consumer a lot of effort and time in limited development of the student’s knowledge and language. The argument is based on the literature surveys concerning student’s knowledge, skills, and professional development. Researchers argue that the pedagogy of pure traditional learning makes it open to broad criticism, raising the need for a better substitute approach to learning methods (Asarta & Schmidt, 2017). There has been a push to reform the traditional learning methods that are primarily based on teacher-centered into a more learner-focused and practice approach.
Researchers such as Mitra (2007), Dewey (1993), and Greenberg (1987), as cited in Khalaf (2018), have argued that the traditional approach to instruction emphasizes teaching instead of learning, hence fail to develop learning experts. Those researchers observed that in every minute of teaching in a traditional educational environment, the assumption is that the learner acquires a minute of learning, which is a mistaken conception of what the education should be like. Therefore, the shift from teacher to student-centered learning approach favors the recent trend of constructivism that emphasizes learning significance. The rapid global shift towards new technologies is aiding the evolution from descriptive cognitivism into critical constructivism (Khalaf, 2018). Other approaches to learning, such as blended instruction, have emerged because of the widespread criticism of the nature and outcome of the traditional approach to learning.
Blended Classroom Instruction
Vernadakis et al. (2012), in a study, observed that blended instruction is emerging probably as the most dominant instruction approach, particularly in higher education as the development of information communication technology (ICT) continues to take its root in the learning environment. The pedagogy of blended instruction operates on the supposition that there are intrinsic advantages of “face-to-face interaction as well as the understanding that there are advantages to using online methods” (Vernadakis et al. 2012, p 439). Blended learning combines traditional face-to-face instruction and online learning, where the learning happens both in the classroom and online. The online element becomes a natural extension of old-fashioned classroom learning.
Asarta and Schmidt (2017), in their research, also recognized that blended instruction is developing in the education environment, trying to offer the learners the benefits of both traditional face-to-face and online learning methods. The authors further added that the conventional learning environment, dominated primarily by face-to-face instruction, has significant restrictions irrespective of how intensively technology is adopted. Inadequate one-to-one teacher-student interactions, delayed feedback, and limited materials, and a visual aid that the instructor can apply during the class session are some of the dominant restrictions in the traditional face-to-face learning environment. One of the most cited reasons for the emphasis on blended courses is that they offer viable options for learners seeking the flexibility of distance learning and desire to engage in some level of personal contact with the school and other learners in a classroom environment.
According to Vernadakis et al. (2012), a blended education system extends beyond the common barriers of location, culture, and time and has generated many improved opportunities for instructors and learners. Blended learning endeavors to persistently and effortlessly integrate online and traditional learning to develop a district, new learning method with its unique merits; therefore, representing a new educational paradigm (Vernadakis et al. 2012). Integrating online and traditional learning comes with a set of values that conventional cannot do alone, including the flexibility in learning as stated earlier.
Blended Versus Traditional Instruction and Students Performance
The traditional environment, no matter how up-to-date the technology gets, has some significant restrictions. Some of the limits are the one-on-one teaching that some students require, the delayed feedback given to students, and the limitation in materials, visual aids, and supplies. Blended learning goes beyond the barriers of time, location and has many opportunities for learners and educators. Blended learning integrates online and traditional education to create a precise new approach with a set of merits that conventional cannot do alone.
In a study done in Greece at the University of Thrace, the purpose was to investigate the impact of traditional and blended instruction for students, instructors, and the course objectives (Vwendakis December 2012). The study found that blended learning promoted student-initiated learning to empower and increase participation and the students’ involvement. The self-confidence and feeling of achievement are what made blended learning more successful in this study. Traditional education is more teacher-driven than blended learning, which gives the students less of an opportunity to tune into their strengths.
In another study conducted by Nigel Smith of the Procedia-Social and Behavior Sciences, there were no significant findings that traditional or blended learning was a more effective learning approach. However, the differences emerged in the perception of education, connectedness, enjoyment, and teacher support (Smith, October 2013). In this study, teachers were more apprehensive than students were; however, the online learning experience had a much more positive impact on the students. The students’ comfort zone was blended learning, which made them more intrigued to learn. In this instance, the teachers were not in their comfort zone but did learn some new instructional methods thru the blended learning process.
Anthony Murray from St. Johns University in New York conducted a study on the performance of Algebra and the regents’ exams and found that there were no statistically significant more outstanding mean scores in overall performance (Cordes, 2018). The author indicates that to see a significant difference in traditional versus blended. You have to consider students’ prior academic results, students’ attendance, and the teacher’s experience, traditionally and blended, to ensure you are getting accurate results.
The University of Illinois, David Larson in the Department of Management Information Systems, did a study to determine if there was a significant difference in delivery modes and if there was a higher success rate for students in traditional or blended learning. From the performance perspective, whether it was blended or traditional, it showed no significant difference. However, the students’ learning effectiveness and critical thinking improved with blended learning instead of conventional. The faculty in this study were highly supportive of the online and blended modes, primarily because of the state-of-the-art technology they could utilize (Larson, 2009, Garrison & Kanuka, 2004).
The reviews of blended learning versus traditional learning have consistently shown that blended learning positively affects knowledge outcomes than traditional teaching methods. The results range from the content to the technology to the overall increase in self-esteem and accomplishment. Blended learning not only provides the student with higher achievements, but it also assists with daily living. It teaches them time management, responsibility and, most of all, gives them a sense of accomplishment, which boosts their self-esteem (Garrison & Kanuka 2004). It has also been established that a blended instruction system fosters critical thinking by offering the learners more control over their educational experience. Studies show that blended learning environments promote learner-centered learning, encouraging more significant interactions between the students. Engaging in blended instruction environments exhibits similar or even better learning outcomes than those in pure traditional teaching environments (Schmidt (2017).
- The blended instruction method leads to improved students’ performance compared to the traditional approach.
- Blended learning methods lead to better knowledge outcomes than the traditional learning approach.
- A blended learning environment gives students more control of their educational experience, hence enhancing critical thinking compared to traditional learning approaches.
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- There is no difference in students’ performance whether blended or traditional instruction method is adopted.
- There is no difference in knowledge outcome whether blended instruction or traditional teaching approach is applied.
- There is no difference in the learners’ control of their learning environment and their critical thinking levels, whether blended or traditional instruction methods are applied.
Chapter Three: Methodology
Description of Participants
The researcher will sample 100 students from the university who have enrolled for an English Course between 2020 and 2021. Participation in the study will be voluntary. After the course, the participants’ final grades will be used as a comparative factor in evaluating the performance difference between blended and traditional face-to-face instructional approaches. The researcher will recruit about 50 students enrolled for blended instructional class and 50 learners in a pure conventional face-to-face learning setting. The study will comprise purely of the non-probability sample; hence the sample composition is left at the instructor’s discretion. The researcher will also avoid unique preferences to students such as rank or gender during the study. Each student is regarded as a single and discrete entity during the survey.
The research will adopt a test and control group experimental study design, comparing blended and pure traditional instruction methods. The researcher will develop blended learning instructions covering English Learning Course to be compared against traditional learning approaches in the same area. Treatment of blended instruction versus face-to-face instruction will form the independent variable during the study, while the outcome or the learners’ performance at the end of the course programs is the dependent variable.
The experimental study is regarded as a “gold standard” in research design and an extensively rigorous study design. In a text and control experimental research design, the researcher manipulates one or more independent variables known as treatments. Study subjects are apportioned randomly various treatment levels in a process known as random assignment. The outcomes of the treatments, which also act as the independent variables, are noted. The casualty or internal validity is considered as the unique advantage of test and control experimental study design. Test and control experimental study design effectively link cause and effect by manipulating the treatment while simultaneously controlling for the minor variables’ false effects (Yeten et al. 2005). The experimental study design is best suited for descriptive study as for this research, where the study objective is to explore the cause and effect relationship of both blended and traditional learning on learners’ performance. It is also applicable for studies that encompass restricted and well-defined, easy-to-manipulate or controlled independent (Kirk, 2012).
In designing the blended instruction materials, formal and informal data captured from the learners who had previously completed the course through a similar approach will be examined. This will be followed by cross-examination of various instructor desired outcomes of similar study based on objectives and goals. The assessment instruments will be determined at the end of the course using the same objectives and goals.
In this research, the student performance will be operationalized by the final course outcomes or grades derived from homework, continuous assessment tests, class and group participation, and research project grades or scores. The researcher will ensure that the assessment instruments are relevant and valid, and applicable in assessing the learners’ abilities and generating impartial performance measurements. The instruments’ validity and relevance will be confirmed with the faculties and relevant stakeholders in the students’ learning environments. The learners’ final grades will be converted from the numerical score to traditional GPA letters for assessment.
The sample of the 100 students’ grades will be obtained from the university faculty only for the study. The faculty only releases grades to the instructors or any user for research purposes but with a high confidentiality level.
This study adopts blended versus traditional face-to-face instruction methods as independent variables, while student performance acts as a dependent variable.
Data Analysis Procedures
After obtaining the data, the researcher will analyze and process the information through SPSS software, where specific values can be calculated. The values will subsequently be applied to draw the conclusion and validate the study hypothesis. The researcher will adopt the conventional chi-square analysis approach to compare student performance differences in blended versus face-to-face learning environments. Chi-square analysis helps this particular comparison as the research can establish the correlation between the teaching approach and performance for the sample set, which can be extended to a large study population. The Chi-square data analysis technique provides numerical results, which can be adopted to establish a statistically significant difference between two variables (Howell, 2011), hence best suited for this study.
The research will maintain a high level of confidentiality concerning the students’ grades and any faculty information. The student data obtained from the faculty will only be applied for this study. No information will be exposed to a third party. There will also be much carefulness during the survey. The researcher will take significant care when conducting the study to avoid careless mistakes. The study findings will be reviewed and critically analyzed to ensure credibility.
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