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Value of blended learning in university and the workplace: some experiences of university students

Colm Fearon (Based at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), Canterbury, UK)
Simon Starr (Based at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), Canterbury, UK)
Heather McLaughlin (Based at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), Canterbury, UK)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Publication date: 4 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to explore student views of blended learning in a university setting based on the use of audio lectures, seminars, discussion boards and wikis.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 14 seminar (focus) groups consisting of approximately 20 students each, over a two year period, provided qualitative views of how students believed blended learning would be useful for their degree and future careers.

Findings

Students found the blended learning approach very flexible and preferable in many cases to traditional face‐to‐face learning. Key themes in terms of emerging benefit themes included: flexibility and support; motivation and sharing ideas; class interaction and explanation of ideas; better than pure eLearning; communicating and teamwork; developing project leadership skills.

Research implications/limitations

This exploratory study of university students is important because they are aware of the value of blended learning and transferable skills for the workplace. The research is limited because it is qualitative, yet it still provides a useful insight into the benefits and value of blended learning from the student perspective.

Originality/value

There is a paucity of qualitative research on the benefits of blended learning and this paper examines the value of the overall approach for university students and the workplace.

Keywords

Citation

Fearon, C., Starr, S. and McLaughlin, H. (2011), "Value of blended learning in university and the workplace: some experiences of university students", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 43 No. 7, pp. 446-450. https://doi.org/10.1108/00197851111171872

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited