Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Blended learning (BL) is an e-learning approach that combines the strengths of both online and face-to-face learning, creating meaningful interactions between students, teachers, and resources. This paper explores students’ expectations and satisfaction with, and participation in, a basic science course offered through BL approaches in an undergraduate medical education programme in Pakistan. Developmental anatomy (embryology) was redesigned as a BL course and offered to a hundred first-year students. Both online activities and technology-assisted face-to-face interactive discussions were used in each topic. Students’ expectations were gathered at the start of the course and perceptions regarding their satisfaction with the course was collected at the end of the course via questionnaires. A temporal analysis of the website use was conducted to determine any changes in use across the course. The data shows that students were satisfied with their experience in the course. Their expectations regarding technology and pedagogy were met. Online individual learning activities were rated higher than collaborative discussions. Face-to-face discussions received a high rating compared to online learning activities. Students’ access to the website varied throughout the course and declined over time. However, some activity was noted before the exams. Students made extensive use of WhatsApp. In basic science subjects, BL has the potential to offer learners some control over content, learning sequence, and pace and time of learning. Unless made part of an assessment scheme, online discussions and other activities are not likely to be seen as useful learning strategies by students. Teachers’ skills in designing and facilitating BL courses are critical to the success thereof.
SOTL in the South
(2019). Blended learning: Call of the day for medical education in the global South. SOTL in the South, 3(1), 57-76.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_bbs/748
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