Investigating experiences and outcomes of K-12 blended learning classes through the community of inquiry framework

PhD Thesis


Villanueva, Juliet Aleta R.. 2020. Investigating experiences and outcomes of K-12 blended learning classes through the community of inquiry framework. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/DXE0-GW51
Title

Investigating experiences and outcomes of K-12 blended learning classes through the community of inquiry framework

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorVillanueva, Juliet Aleta R.
SupervisorRedmond, Petrea
Galligan, Linda
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages369
Year2020
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/DXE0-GW51
Abstract

Despite barriers and challenges to information and communications technology integration in Philippine schools, open and distance elearning programs under the Alternative Delivery Mode are being implemented as a viable means to provide quality basic education. Blended learning programs and flexible learning options are emerging to serve marginalized student populations. However, teaching and learning interactions in these K-12 programs remain hidden. The purpose of this case study was to investigate the experiences and outcomes of K-12 blended learning classes through the lens of the Community of Inquiry, a longstanding framework in higher education research to examine online educational experiences. It has yet to be applied in the K-12 setting where there are gaps in research to leverage support for blended learning and the development of learning communities. This study sought to explore the elements of the framework to determine its applicability in settings where traditional and didactic methods dominate classroom teaching approaches.

Qualitative data were gathered through interviews, focus group discussions, surveys, class observations, virtual classroom stored data, and field notes to examine the nature of blended learning interactions in three urban public schools. The study captured the experiences of K-12 teachers and students engaged in blended learning classes. Using content analysis and descriptive statistics, K-12 blended learning interactions were examined and revealed similar themes from higher education research, namely: 1) learning as best of both worlds, 2) learning as anytime, anywhere, and 3) learning with technology. Findings point to the positive experiences of both teachers and students. Overall positive student satisfaction was indicated among students who were learning on their own and with others. Positive outcomes were also demonstrated through interactions with varied content and learning activities in face-to-face and online classes enabled through a learning management system and Facebook Messenger.

The study likewise re-examined the blended learning interactions through the categories and indicators of teaching presence, social presence, and cognitive presence. Manifestations of these presences revealed learning communities as outcomes of K-12 blended learning interactions. Results revealed setting the climate for learning at the intersection of teaching presence and social presence, as the space where teachers and students engage in role fulfillment and building connectedness as members of a learning community. Students experienced the teaching presence through the design and organization of online lessons and activities and facilitation in their face-to-face classes. Social presence was highly demonstrated by teachers and students through examples of affective expression and interactive communication. The data revealed a shared motivation among students to interact and learn and a shared view on the importance of technology to learning. The findings also affirmed regulating learning at the intersection of teaching presence and cognitive as applicable to the K-12 setting. Within this space, students and teachers manifested trust and reciprocation towards the attainment of shared goals which are indicative of learning communities.

This study justified the Community of Inquiry as a practical framework to understand and guide teaching and learning in K-12 blended learning classes in the Philippines. Given the recent shift to fully online learning, the study’s documentation of blended learning practices strategically positioned the schools for knowledge sharing to influence blended and online learning pedagogy and practices within the district. A Development Model of K-12 Blended Learning Communities was drawn from the study to represent how current blended learning programs can transition to a transformative kind of blended learning. It recommends the application of the proposed CoI framework for K-12 Learning Community Building to guide and inform blended learning orientation and course design and delivery. A self-reflection tool for teachers based on the CoI instrument is being proposed to highlight the role of teachers in the development of learning communities. The proposed modification of the CoI categories and indicators and corresponding K-12 CoI instrument are areas for validation in future research. Policies related to blended learning program development and implementation may be formulated based on models and practices documented in this study. Future linkages with the University of the Philippines Open University are highlighted which include pre-service teacher education field practice in K-12 blended learning programs and prospective Year 12 blended course offerings as pathways to open university education. Opportunities for the professional development of teachers and service learning initiatives through academic learning support and co-development of open resources are also recommended.

KeywordsK12 blended learning, learning communities, K12 Philippines, alternative delivery mode, community of inquiry, COI framework
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390304. Primary education
390405. Educational technology and computing
390306. Secondary education
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Education
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q6067/investigating-experiences-and-outcomes-of-k-12-blended-learning-classes-through-the-community-of-inquiry-framework

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