Sense of Community: How Important is this Quality in Blended Courses
Tayebinik, M. & Puteh, M. (2012). Sense of Community: How Important is This Quality in Blended Courses. Proceeding of the International Conference on Education and Management Innovation, Singapore.
10 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2013 Last revised: 19 Jun 2014
Date Written: February 16, 2013
Combining online classes with the traditional classes foster the advantages of both learning environments. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of integrating face-to-face classes in fully online courses. 48 undergraduate students studying at the e-learning centre of Khaje Nasir Toosi University of Technology in Iran were the subjects of this study. They were required to provide their feedback on the inclusion of face-to-face component in their e-learning classes. Data collected through open-ended questions indicated that the most dominant outcome of such a hybrid course on the students was the perception on the sense of community. The findings suggest that students’ high satisfaction on blended learning courses was due to the fact that it promoted their sense of community. This supports another conclusion of the study that face-to-face classes and online classes are complementary and provide a balanced pedagogical role for each other.
Keywords: sense of community, distance education, blended learning, online learning
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