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Action research to reassess the effectiveness of a blended learning approach in postgraduate business education using unified theory of acceptance and use of technology model

Muhammad Surajo Sanusi

No 11, CAFE Working Papers from Centre for Applied Finance and Economics (CAFE), Birmingham City Business School, Birmingham City University

Abstract: Although the pedagogy of blended learning in higher education has been well-accepted since its inception in 2000 particularly due to the incessant technological innovations, its impact on students’ experience has been reliant on various factors. This includes cultural diversity and background, technical abilities, level of organisational support, language difficulties, educational background, learning environment, instructional design, and many others. In this study, the effectiveness of the blended learning approach has been practically reassessed among the diverse cohorts of international students at Birmingham City University. The motivation for the selection of this sample was to enable the inclusion of diversity as one of the focal points of the study. Data was collected from the action research undertaken and analysed based on a survey research method. This was to test the significance of the hypotheses formulated and find answers to the research questions that were designed to portray the central intent of the study. Based on the action research, two-cycle model was adopted to reassess the effectiveness of blended learning in comparison to the traditional learning approach. In the first cycle, the effectiveness of traditional learning approach was tested. The mixed responses received had justified the implementation of the second cycle of the action research. In the second cycle, the blended learning approach was adopted in the class session and its effectiveness tested by administering questionnaires to the students under study. Furthermore, multiple regressions were employed using unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) to test the significance of each variable collected from the survey on the students’ learning experience and engagement. Our results have suggested that students’ engagement is determined by positive learning experience without any bias to traditional or blended learning approach. Students’ age group was found to be relevant in the determination of behavioural intention, social influence, effort expectancy, performance expectancy and facilitating conditions towards the effective use of technology and blended learning. Students’ gender was an irrelevant factor in the success of blended learning approach.

Keywords: Action research; Blended learning; Unified theory of acceptance and use of technology; Triangular model; Traditional learning; Students’ engagement; Learning experience. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-02-05
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