Perceptions of sport science students on the potential applications and limitations of blended learning in their education: A qualitative study

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Abstract

This study sought to gain insight into blended learning-naive sports science students' understanding and perceptions of the potential benefits and limitations of blended (hybrid) learning, which has been defined as the thoughtful integration of face-to-face and online instructional approaches. Five focus groups, each comprising 3-4 students from either the undergraduate or postgraduate sports science programmes were conducted. The focus groups were facilitated by a researcher who was not involved in sports science. Audio recordings of the focus groups were transcribed verbatim. NVivo software was used to code the transcripts to identify the themes and subthemes. Students generally had little initial understanding of blended learning. When provided with a definition, they believed that blended learning could improve educational outcomes and assist those who were legitimately unable to attend a session. Their reservations about blended learning mainly related to some students not being sufficiently autonomous to undertake independent study, timetabling considerations and access to reliable Internet services. For blended learning to be effective, students felt the online material had to be interactive, engaging and complement the face-to-face sessions. Better understanding the perceptions of the students in the current study may assist educators who are considering implementing blended learning in their teaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-312
Number of pages16
JournalSports Biomechanics
Volume16
Issue number3
Early online date23 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017

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