Towards Effective Blended Learning Through the Eyes of Students: A Survey Study in Transition into Face-to-Face EducationTipo de publicación : Conferencia No DCC Ir a publicación
Many researchers consider that blended or hybrid learning implies a meaningful combination of online and face-to-face activities. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, studies had shown promising results of blended learning to improve student performance. However, the design and implementation of effective combinations is far from trivial, considering students differences regarding their demographics and self-regulatory capacities. This paper presents a survey study developed in an Engineering school of a Latin American university that transitioned from online learning to a hybrid format in mid-2021. Quantitative data was collected throughout an online questionnaire applied to a convenience sample of 1,124 students. Subgroup differences were identified by means of exploratory factor analysis and clustering. Two different subgroups emerged from the data: those who prefer online learning and those who prefer face-to-face activities. This difference is particularly observed in students from different cohorts and regions of origin: students who are closer to graduation preferred online activities, as well as students who come from regions outside the campus location. Students preferences varied regarding feedback delivery and collaboration with peers, which are usually synchronous activities. Further implications are discussed to inform instructional design of blended and hybrid approaches beyond COVID-19.