Evaluating blended learning in the biomedical sciences using action research

Grob, C., Clarke, A. and Volante, Margaret (2007) Evaluating blended learning in the biomedical sciences using action research. In: Proceedings of 2nd International Blended Learning Conference. University of Hertfordshire, pp. 146-163. ISBN 9781902806815. [Book Section]


This paper aims to promote scholarship in the teaching of the biomedical sciences for professional preparatory programmes in health care. An action research project, undertaken for the purposes of professional development, is used to show how a blended learning approach was developed to facilitate and support learning in the biomedical sciences for a diverse student body. The nursing students taking part (n=135) were in the first two months of a three year diploma programme for adult nursing. A questionnaire was developed to measure the extent to which the student holds a favourable or unfavourable attitude on a series of questions about their skills, the support they received, the content of a virtual learning environment and its contribution to their learning. Analysis of the questionnaires identified that students had positive and negative experiences in using a blended learning approach, with positive experiences predominating. Positive aspects included the continual access and availability of the virtual learning environment (VLE), the opportunity to learn using a variety of rich multimedia resources, including multiple-choice questions (MCQ’S) on-line, blended learning lessons and InteractivePhysiology :animated body systems on-line or on stand alone CD-ROMs. Students were able to engage with the material in their own time, at their own pace and level. Negative experiences stemmed mainly from frustrations with logging onto the VLE, lack of time for e-learning and the pace with which it was introduced. The student experience of the integrated approach to blended learning was largely a positive one. Tutor support and drop-in workshops were essential in this process. This study also demonstrates that the numbers of suitably trained tutors required to facilitate e-learning was underestimated. Consideration needs to be given to the timing, pacing and planning of the introduction of blended learning into the bioscience curriculum.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 10377
Depositing User: Margaret Volante
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2013 11:39
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:26
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/10377

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