Students’ perceptions of blended and remote learning and its impact upon sense of belonging
Blended learning has been widely recognised for its ‘transformative potential’ (Garrison and Kanuka, 2004) in higher education, especially when it comes to its versatility and increased opportunities for distributed learners. Nonetheless, the technological challenges it poses, alongside issues linked with policy, resources and support structures, have led to considerable resistance to the concept of blended practice. Despite this mixed reputation (Antunes, Armellini and Howe, 2021; Lomer and Palmer, 2021), few studies have attempted to explore students’ perceptions of blended delivery, with most research focussing on staff experience (Torrisi-Steele and Drew, 2013).
The session reports on a small-scale evaluative study on student perceptions of blended learning that we conducted in the academic year 2020/21. A critical realist framework that considers both agency and structure has been applied to situate these perceptions while our mixed methods approach offers a multi-layered insight into the captured diversity of experience. The aim of the conference session was to discuss with the participants the implications of the findings for future practice and, more specifically, consider the role of Learning Development in enhancing post-pandemic student experience.
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