e-Learning in Campus-based Blended Language Learning Environments: University Teacher and Student Perceptions and Experiences
AbstractThis research aims to examine university teacher and student perceptions of, and experiences in, e-learning in campus-based blended language learning environments at Australian universities. The blended environments examined in this research are those where campus-based face-to-face teaching is enhanced by the implementation of certain types of technology. It investigates why and how teachers adopted e-learning in their courses, their perceptions of the effectiveness of the blended e-learning and the possible barriers they face in the process. It also investigates how students perceived the connection between e-learning and face-to-face teaching and learning, whether they thought blended e-learning assisted their language learning for the course and what constituted their e-learning experiences in this blended environment. Specifically, their learning approaches to various e-learning tasks are examined. Most importantly, this study adopts an ecological perspective and explores the inter-relationships between teachers and students’ perceptions and experiences in the e-learning environment. This mixed methods research utilizes qualitative student and teacher interviews as well as quantitative student questionnaires and WebCT tracking records of student e-learning performances. Eighteen teachers and sixty students participated in this study and 19 of the 60 students also participated in the semi-structured interviews. The student participants are Chinese students taking a first-year beginners course in an Australian metropolitan university. The findings of this study indicate that learners play a decisive role in effective e-learning; however their role and the teacher’s role are inter-related and inter-dependent. e-Learning is most likely to result in desirable learning outcomes when teacher and student perceptions match in terms of interpretation of the learning environment, the designed goals of the e- learning tasks, the teacher and learner roles in the learning, and most importantly, when the learning approaches are effective for conducting self-regulated learning. For tertiary education where student-centred learning is highly valued and student profiles diversified, a better understanding of students’ experiences through contextualized and holistic research is a pre-requisite for good curriculum planning.
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