Walking the path of desire: evaluating a blended learning approach to developing study skills in a multi-disciplinary group

Michelle Crowther

Abstract


This case study describes the methods used to evaluate a series of study skills workshops and online learning materials created for a cohort of foundation degree arts and humanities students. The workshops and online content were created in response to feedback from the previous cohort which revealed that students had struggled to relate the workshops to their assignment, which was a portfolio of critical reflections. In order to better understand the disconnect experienced by the students between the module content and the course assessment, it was decided to track the paths of desire taken by the cohort in their learning, and assess whether online content could improve learning outcomes or whether workshops and print sources are more valuable for skills development. Quantitative data, such as attendance, VLE use and book loans, along with qualitative data from the students’ critical reflections were gathered to track student engagement with material, creating a narrative of the learning journeys of the cohort. Findings revealed that online content has a valuable role in supporting success for some students but that attendance at workshops has a strong correlation with portfolio grade and skills development.

Keywords


blended learning; study skills; curriculum design and development; higher education; widening participation; foundation degrees; arts and humanities

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ISSN: 1759-667X