Exploring Onsite and Off-site Adult Learners’ Blended Synchronous Learning in a Higher Education Course
Abstract: Blended Synchronous Learning Environment (BSLE) provides real-time synchronous dialogues, negotiations and collaborations for the learners (Theodosiadou, Konstantinidis, Pappos, & Papadopoulos, 2017). Ideally, the face-to-face and online interactions are enabled through blended synchronous learning (Stewart, Harlow, & DeBacco, 2011). However, the use of the blended synchronous learning as an instructional strategy is not without its set of challenges. Internet connectivity issue leading to disrupted communication (Wang, Quek, & Hu, 2017; Bower, Dalgarno, Kennedy, Lee, & Kenney, 2015) and implementation are challenges of teaching and. The study explored the learners’ social interaction, use of learning strategies, use of technical strategies and types of support in the onsite and offsite settings. Data sources came from the BSL classroom video recordings on the Webex platform and the blended lessons designed by the instructor. The findings of this study provided a rich insight to the instructor's facilitation strategies and support for their future design of blended synchronous lessons. This study provides a better understanding of the learners’ experiences in the form of social interactions, use of learning and technical strategies and support in a BSLE. Understanding what learners experience is helpful to the facilitator in improving the design for learners’ learning in future implementation of BSLEs to support learners’ learning needs.