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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Blended Course Delivery System in Graduate Teacher Education Programs: Perceptions of the Graduates

Ronald Knorr (Mercer University, USA)
Richard Binkney (Mercer University, USA)
Session Information
July 9, 2014 - 11:20am
Blended Models and Course Design
Areas of Special Interest: 
Blended Program/Degree
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research and Evaluation
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Plaza Ballroom D
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Information Session 6
Virtual Session

This presentation reports the results of a study of the perceptions of the program completers of a blended graduate program in teacher education

Extended Abstract

The purpose of this quantitative research was to examine the case for graduate blended distance education as reported through a questionnaire survey of program completers of the blended online M.Ed. program in Early Childhood Education. The project was conducted over a two-year period in a metropolitan suburban regional academic center of the largest private school producer of early childhood education graduates in the State of Georgia. The participants were surveyed through a self-reporting questionnaire to examine their perceptions of the blended form of blended distance learning as an educational delivery mechanism for adult graduate learners, knowledge of great value to educators in planning for the future of such programs.

The surveys and their relevant responses were analyzed to investigate if there are differences between students' perceptions entering vs. completing the graduate program and to determine whether there are discriminating factors for participants in the blended graduate online program (e.g., interpersonal, professionalism, support, and/or instructional). Further, the researchers sought to determine if there was any distinction between graduate level quality preservation of academic standards between online courses and face-to-face courses so that university administrators can make better informed decisions about course delivery in higher education.

Findings suggest that traditional face-to-face classrooms are effective and allow for meaningful graduate learning. The findings confirm that social interaction has a significant role in the way adult learning takes place. This study suggests a need for higher education to examine program completers perceptions to determine improved technologies to help their students create effective learning community online. These findings provide evidence that giving students options for delivery of learning is necessary for those living in rural or remote areas and for non-traditional adult students with families who are working and cannot take time off to attend traditional classes of instruction.

Additionally, in the asynchronous environment of a blended online delivery model where both time and space are irrelevant, findings of this research envision a future where higher-order learning outcomes exist through an interactive collaborative community of learners in a blended online environment. The findings of this study anticipates a continued redistribution of power and responsibility away from the instructor toward the individual learner delivery model. This prospect will forecast a fundamental change in the partnership between the Internet and higher education.