Investigating the impact of blended learning on academic performance in a first semester college physics course

Article

Abstract

This study investigates the impact of blended learning—which combines face-to-face classroom instruction with online-mediated instruction—in the context of Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) pre-university science students. Although blended learning is a relatively recent addition to the college science classroom, studies have demonstrated that blended learning can create a more positive and active learning environment, and enhance both the quality of instruction and student learning outcomes in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. Today, blended learning approaches are increasingly adopted in classrooms across North American colleges and universities, yet blended learning has received limited attention in the context of CEGEP pre-university programs. The present study sought to address this gap by examining the effectiveness of instruction in the mechanics course in the physics pre-university program at an English CEGEP, comparing the blended learning approach and the traditional lecture-based instruction. The results suggest that the blended learning approach leads to more conceptual change, acquisition of more skills, and higher performance. The findings of this research provide valuable implications and encouragement for future implementations of blended learning in CEGEPs.

Keywords

Blended learning STEM Physics education CEGEP students 

References

  1. Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2014). Grade change. Tracking online education in the United States. Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group, LLC.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2015). Grade level: Tracking online education in the United States. Babson Park, MA: Babson Survey Research Group.Google Scholar
  3. Allen, I. E., Seaman, J., Poulin, R., & Taylor Straut, T. (2016). Online report card—Tracking online education in U.S. higher education. Babson Park, MA: Babson Survey Research Group.Google Scholar
  4. Arbaugh, J. B. (2000). Virtual classroom versus physical classroom: An exploratory study of class discussion patterns and student learning in an asynchronous Internet-based MBA course. Journal of Management Education, 24(2), 213–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bates, T. (2012). The status of online learning in Canada. Retrieved from: http://www.tonybates.ca/2012/06/12/the-status-of-online-learning-in-canada-in-2012/.
  6. Bazelais, P., Lemay, J. D., & Doleck, T. (2016). How does grit impact students’ academic achievement in science? European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 4(1), 33–43.Google Scholar
  7. Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2012). Flip your classroom: Reach every student in every class every day. International Society for Technology in Education.Google Scholar
  8. Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Schmid, R. F., Tamim, R. M., & Abrami, P. C. (2014). A metaanalysis of blended learning and technology use in higher education: From the general to the applied. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 26(1), 87–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Biggs, J. (1987). Student approaches to learning and studying. Research monograph. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.Google Scholar
  10. Biggs, J. (1996). Enhancing teaching through constructive alignment. Higher Education, 32(3), 347–364.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00138871.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Biggs, J. (1999). What the student does: teaching for enhanced learning. Higher Education Research & Development, 18(1), 57–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brooks, J., & Brooks, M. G. (1993). The case for constructivist classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.Google Scholar
  13. Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Caldwell, J. (2007). Clickers in the large classroom: Current research and best-practice tips. Cell Biology Education, 6(1), 9–20.  https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.06-12-0205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Carpenter, G. (2010). E-learning in the Canadian post-secondary education system. Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.Google Scholar
  16. Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Collins, A. (2006). Cognitive apprenticeship. In K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 47–60). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Committee on Undergraduate Science Education. (1997). Misconceptions as barriers to understanding science. In Science Teaching (Ed.), Reconsidered: A handbook. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  19. Creswell, J. W., & Clark, V. L. P. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Crouch, C. H., & Mazur, E. (2001). Peer instruction: Ten years of experience and results. American Journal of Physics, 69(9), 970–977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience & education. New York: Touchstone.Google Scholar
  22. Dori, Y. J., & Belcher, J. (2005). How does technology-enabled active learning affect undergraduate students’ understanding of Electromagnetic concepts. The Journal of The Learning Sciences, 14(2), 243–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Driscoll, M., & Carliner, S. (2005). Advanced web-based training strategies. In Blended learning as a curriculum design strategy (pp. 87–116). New York, NY: ASTD Press.Google Scholar
  24. Duncan, D. (2006). Clickers: A new teaching aid with exceptional promise. Astronomy Education Review, 5(1), 70–88.  https://doi.org/10.3847/aer2006005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Dziuban, C. D., Hartman, J. L., & Moskal, P. D. (2004). Blended learning. EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research Bulletin, 7(1), 12.Google Scholar
  26. Elby, A. (2001). Helping physics students learn how to learn. American Journal of Physics, 69(S1), S54–S64.  https://doi.org/10.1119/1.1377283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fisher, K. M. (1986). Student misconceptions and teacher assumptions in college biology. Journal of College Science Teaching, 15(4), 276–280.Google Scholar
  28. Freedman, R. A. (1996). Challenges in teaching and learning introductory physics. In From high temperature superconductivity to microminiature refrigeration (p. 313).Google Scholar
  29. Garnham, C., & Kaleta, R. (2002). Introduction to hybrid courses. Teaching with Technology Today, 8(6). http://www.uwsa.edu/ttt/articles/garnham.htm.
  30. Garrison, D. R., & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended-learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 7(2), 95–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Garrison, D. R., & Vaughan, N. D. (2008). Blended-learning in higher education: Framework principles and guidelines. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  32. Ginder, S., & Stearns, C. (2014). Enrollment in distance education course, by state: Fall 2012. Washington, DC: US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2014/2014023.pdf.
  33. Glover, J., Ronning, R., & Brunning, R. (1990). The necessity of knowledge. In Cognitive Psychology for teachers (pp. 61–100). New York: MacMillan.Google Scholar
  34. Graham, C. R. (2006). Blended-learning systems: Definition, current trends, and future directions. In C. J. Bonk & C. R. Graham (Eds.), Handbook of blended learning: Global perspectives, local designs (pp. 3–21). San Francisco: Pfeiffer Publishing.Google Scholar
  35. Graham, C. R. (2009). Blended-learning models. Brigham Young University. IGI Global. Retrieved on January 5, 2015, from: www.igi-global.com/chapter/blended-learning-models/13601.
  36. Graham, C. R., & Robison, R. (2007). Realizing the transformational potential of blended-learning: Comparing cases of transforming blends and enhancing blends in higher education. In A. G. Picciano & C. D. Dziuban (Eds.), Blended-learning: Research perspectives (pp. 83–110). Needham, MA: The Sloan Consortium.Google Scholar
  37. Hadwin, A., & Oshige, M. (2011). Self-regulation, coregulation, and socially shared regulation: Exploring perspectives of social in self-regulated learning theory. Teachers College Record, 113(2), 240–264.Google Scholar
  38. Hake, R. (1998). Interactive-engagement vs. traditional methods: A six thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses. American Journal Physics, 66, 64–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hakkarainen, K., Paavola, S., Kangas, K., & Seitamaa-Hakkarainen, P. (2012). Sociocultural perspectives on collaborative learning: Towards collaborative knowledge creation. In C. E. Hmelo-Silver, C. A. Chinn, C. K. K. Chan, & A. M. O’Donnell (Eds.), The international handbook of collaborative learning (pp. 57–73). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Halloun, I. A., & Hestenes, D. (1995). Interpreting the force concept inventory. The Physics Teacher, 33, 502–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hammer, D., & Redish, E. F. (2000). Learning how to learn science: Physics for bioscience majors: A proposal submitted to the National Science Foundation DUE ROLE Competition, June 2000. Retrieved from www.physics.umd.edu/perg/role/ROLEProp.pdf.
  42. Hestenes, D., Wells, M., & Swackhamer, G. (1992). Force concept inventory. The Physics Teacher, 30, 141–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hmelo-Silver, C. E., & DeSimone, C. (2013). Problem-based learning: An instructional model of collaborative learning. In The international handbook of collaborative learning (pp. 370–386).Google Scholar
  44. Hmelo-Silver, C., Duncan, R., & Chinn, C. (2007). Scaffolding and achievement in problem-based and inquiry learning: A response to Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark (2006). Educational Psychologist, 42(2), 99–107.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520701263368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Jarvela, S., & Hadwin, A. F. (2013). New frontiers: Regulating learning in CSCL. Educational Psychologist, 48(1), 25–39.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2012.748006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kaleta, R., Skibba, K., & Joosten, T. (2007). Discovering, designing and delivering hybrid courses. In A. G. Picciano & C. D. Dziuban (Eds.), Blended-learning: Research perspectives (pp. 111–143). Needham, MA: Sloan Center for Online Education.Google Scholar
  47. Kazu, I. Y., & Demirkol, M. (2014). Effect of blended learning environment model on high school students’ academic achievement. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology-TOJET, 13(1), 78–87.Google Scholar
  48. Knight, D. R. (2002). Five easy lessons: Strategies for successful physics teaching. Addison Wesley.Google Scholar
  49. Koschmann, T. (1996). Paradigm shifts and instructional technology: An introduction. CSCL: Theory and practice of an emerging paradigm (pp. 1–23).Google Scholar
  50. Kujawa, S., & Huske, L. (1995). Strategic teaching and reading project guidebook. Oak Brook, IL: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.Google Scholar
  51. Larson, D. K., & Sung, C. H. (2009). Comparing student performance: Online versus blended versus face-to-face. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 13(1), 31–42.Google Scholar
  52. Leinhardt, G. (1992). What research on learning tells us about teaching. Educational Leadership, 49(7), 20–25.Google Scholar
  53. Lorenzo, M., Crouch, C. H., & Mazur, E. (2006). Reducing the gender gap in the physics classroom. American Journal of Physics, 74(2), 118–122.  https://doi.org/10.1119/1.2162549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Marrs, K., & Novak, G. (2004). Just-in-time teaching in biology: Creating an active learner classroom using the internet. Cell Biology Education, 3(1), 49–61.  https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.03-11-0022.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Mayer, R. E. (1996). Learners as information processors: Legacies and limitations of educational psychology’s second metaphor. Educational Psychologist, 31(3), 151–161.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15326985ep3103&4_1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Mayer, R. E. (2002). Multimedia learning. Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 41, 85–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Mazur, E. (1997). Peer instruction: A user’s manual. Prentice Hall. Retrieved from http://galileo.harvard.edu.
  58. Mazur, E. (2009). Galileo. Retrieved on November 10, 2016, from: http://galileo.harvard.edu/galileo/sgm/jitt/.
  59. Mazur, E. (2013). The flipped classroom will redefine the role of educators. Interview with applied physics professor Eric Mazur delves into educational philosophy. Retrieved from: https://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2013/03/flippedclassroom-will-redefine-role-educators.
  60. Mazur, E., & Watkins, J. (2009). Using JiTT with peer instruction. In S. Simkins & M. Maier (Eds.), Just-in-time teaching and peer instruction (pp. 39–62). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.Google Scholar
  61. Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., & Baki, M. (2013). The effectiveness of online and blended learning: A meta-analysis of the empirical literature. Teachers College Record, 115(3), 1–47.Google Scholar
  62. Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., & Jones, K. (2010). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. US Department of Education.Google Scholar
  63. National Research Council (NRC). (2000). Early childhood development and learning: New Knowledge for policy. In J. D. Bransford, A. L. Brown, & Cocking, R. R. (Eds.). How people learn brain, mind, experience and school. Washington, D.C.: National Academic Press.Google Scholar
  64. Navarro, P., & Shoemaker, J. (1999). The power of cyberlearning: An empirical test. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 11(1), 29–54.  https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02940841.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Neuhauser, C. (2002). Learning style and effectiveness of online and face-to-face instruction. The American Journal of Distance Education, 16(2), 99–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Pereira, J. A., Pleguezuelos, E., Merí, A., Molina-Ros, A., Molina-Tomás, M. C., & Masdeu, C. (2007). Effectiveness of using blended learning strategies for teaching and learning human anatomy. Medical Education, 41(2), 189–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Ramsden, P. (2003). Theories of teaching in higher education. In Learning to teach in higher education (2nd Ed., pp. 106–116). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  68. Redish, E. F. (2000). Who needs to learn physics in the 21st century—and why? Plenary lecture, GIREP conference, physics teacher education beyond 2000, Barcelona Spain. Retrieved from: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.17.4099.
  69. Redish, E. F., & Steinberg, R. N. (1999). Teaching physics: Figuring out what works. Physics Today, 52, 24–30. Retrieved from: www.physics.umd.edu/perg/qm/qmcourse/…/whatwork/index.htm.
  70. Redish, E. F., Steinberg, R. N., & Saul, J. M. (1998). Measuring student expectations in University Physics: University of Maryland physics expectations survey. American Journal of Physics, 66, 212–224. Retrieved from: www.physics.umd.edu/perg/papers/redish/talks/…/aapt97ex.htm.
  71. Richardson, V. (2003). Constructivist pedagogy. The Teachers College Record, 105(9), 1623–1640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Roschelle, J., & Teasley, S. D. (1995). The construction of shared knowledge in collaborative problem solving. In Computer-supported collaborative learning (Vol. 128, pp. 69–197).Google Scholar
  73. Schmid, R., Bernard, R., Borokhovski, E., Tamim, R., Abrami, P., Surkes, M., et al. (2014). The effects of technology use in postsecondary education: A meta-analysis of classroom applications. Computers & Education, 72, 271–291.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2013.11.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Schmid, R., Bernard, R., Borokhovski, E., Tamim, R., Abrami, P., Wade, C., et al. (2009). Technology’s effect on achievement in higher education: A stage I meta-analysis of classroom applications. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 21(2), 95–109.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12528-009-9021-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Slavin, R. E. (1994). Educational psychology: Theory and practice (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  76. Sosa, G., Berger, D. E., Saw, A. T., & Mary, J. C. (2010). Effectiveness of computer based instruction in statistics: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research. Advance online publication.  https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654310378174.
  77. Stalker, H., & Horn, M. B. (2012). Classifying K-12 blended learning. Mountain View, CA. Innosight Institute, Inc. Retrieved from: http://www.innosightinstitute.org/innosight/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Classifying-K-12-blendedlearning2.pdf.
  78. Stockwell, B. R., Stockwell, M. S., Cennamo, M., & Jiang, E. (2015). Blended learning improves science education. Cell, 162(5), 933–936.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2015.08.009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Tamim, R. M., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Abrami, P. C., & Schmid, R. F. (2011). What forty years of research says about the impact of technology on learning a second-order metaanalysis and validation study. Review of Educational Research, 81(1), 4–28.  https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654310393361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Tho, S., Chan, K., & Yeung, Y. (2015). Technology-enhanced physics programme for community-based science learning: Innovative design and programme evaluation in a theme park. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 24(5), 580–594.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-015-9549-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. U.S. Department of Education. (2010). Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  82. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2016). Digest of Education Statistics, 2014 (NCES 2016-006). Retrieved from: https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=80Google Scholar
  83. Vaughan, N. D. (2010). A blended community of inquiry approach: Linking student engagement and course redesign. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(1–2), 60–65.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2009.10.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Vaughan, N. (2014). Student engagement and blended learning: Making the assessment connection. Education Sciences, 4(4), 247–264.  https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci4040247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Willis, J. (2006). Research-based strategies to ignite student learning. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development.Google Scholar
  86. Wu, J. (2004). Improvement of physics teaching with problem based learning: Mathematics and Physics Department. Hohai University, China. The China papers. Retrieved from: http://sydney.edu.au/science/uniservescience/pubs/china/vol5/CP5_phys_03.
  87. Zhang, P., Ding, L., & Mazur, E. (2017). Peer Instruction in introductory physics: A method to bring about positive changes in students’ attitudes and beliefs. Physical Review Physics Education Research.  https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevphyseducres.113.010104.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Beijing Normal University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations