Digital Student Preferences: a study of blended learning in Norwegian higher education
For fall term 2020, institutions of higher education globally were preparing to run courses as online or blended learning due to Covid-19 restrictions. The ideal situation is for a relatively seamless transition from campus-based teaching to blended and/or online. The aim of this study is to examine the experience of a single cohort of students in order to identify trends in student preferences. The research model was mixed-method quantitative and qualitative analysis. The main research question is: What are student preferences for blended learning? The survey and interview results are from trainee teachers in a municipality in Norway in 2018 to 2019. The main research group consisted of 18 respondents from a group of 28 students with a response rate of 64 %. Four students were selected for semi-structured interviews. A clear majority of the students favor the use of blended learning. They experienced little difference in terms of teacher-centred practice and cooperative learning, i.e. traditional lectures and teacher-led tasks. In contrast, student-centred practice and collaborative learning were strongly favored as campus-based. The loss of social cohesion and more productive student-student dialogue and collaboration is clear. In addition, the data implies that lecturing could be effectively delivered online.
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