AN EVALUATIVE STUDY OF BLENDED LEARNING AS AN INNOVATIVE CHALLENGE FOR PAKISTANI ACADEMIA: PERCEPTION OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
Keywords:Blended learning, undergraduate students, limitations, advantages, perception, technical support services
Blended Learning is blend of online learning activities, pedagogical methods and instructional technologies with F2F teaching. Importance of active participation of individuals in learning process is obvious and active learning involves dynamic partnership of teacher and students to share responsibility of instruction. Blended learning enhances interaction, understanding and involvement of students and teachers in the learning process. This is now globally, recognized teaching pedagogy in all kinds of higher education institutions. Blended Learning is the need of hour for the 21st century. It is a unique approach to impart knowledge, understanding and skills in the students. The purpose of the study is to investigate perception of undergraduate students about blended learning. This is a quantitative research in which a survey conducted by using structured questionnaire. Objective of this research study is to investigate the perception of students about advantages and challenges of blended learning. The sample of the study is 50 undergraduate students, randomly selected from the target population of a public university of Pakistan. The data is collected online. From the findings, it was concluded that students perceived digital illiteracy, Internet connectivity, technical problems, frustration, social isolation, lack of technical support service and access to personal devices as limitations of Blended Learning. The students appreciated BL as it develops computer skills, communication skills and provides easy access to authentic resources, and timely feedback from instructors and enhances their confidence. It was recommended that by opening more computer laboratories with the provision of technical support services and regular training of students from the university can overcome the limitations of BL.
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