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Title: On the relationship between student approaches to learning and the use of technology in blended learning environments : a cross-case study analysis
Author: Mimirinis, Mike
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2013
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As blended learning becomes ever more pervasive in the context of technological advances claimed to enhance learning, it is important to evaluate the impact of these advances on the quality of student experiences. Early phenomenographic research in academic, face-to-face environments extracted qualitatively different characteristics of student approaches to learning and revealed associations between approaches to learning and the quality of learning outcomes. Relatively little, however, is currently known about the attributes of these approaches in blended learning environments where online facilitation and resources supplement face-to-face teaching. The thesis therefore aims to explore the relationship between student approaches to learning (deep, strategic, surface) and the use of technology in blended settings. The research question was addressed by conducting four case studies across distinct subject areas in a single higher education institution. The findings were analysed within each case study and subsequently across all four studies to expose their relatability. The results show that the existence of a student-centred approach to teaching can induce extended use of selected facilities in the online environment by students who adopt a deep approach. Similarly, a strategic approach can be consistent with higher level of online activity, provided that the teacher approach places significant emphasis on assessment and student achievement. The current cross-case analysis makes a two-fold contribution: firstly, it underlines the relational nature of student approaches to learning when using technology in blended learning settings; secondly, it indicates that teacher approaches to teaching in the face-to-face context can impact more on student approaches to learning online than any features of the technology per se. The implications of these assertions are discussed in terms of disciplinarity, teaching and programme design, and the quality of student experiences in a changing university landscape.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available