BLR Survey Results
A survey was conducted in 2009 in order to ask participants in different countries about their experiences and expectations regarding Blended Learning. We were looking to identify common practices, stumbling stones and success factors.
115 people responded to the survey which took about 15 - 20 minutes to complete.
Of those who provided their affiliation, 75% were from a university, applied university, or research institute, 11% from an institute of vocational or further education, and 12% from business. Responses came from all member countries of the comble project: Denmark, Germany, Poland, and Estonia. 21% of the respondents were in management/administration, 30% staff and 45% were instructors or trainers. Two thirds said that Blended Learning was used in some departments.
When asked "How do you think others rate the importance of Blended Learning in your organisation?" instructors and students perceive Blended Learning to be more important than members of staff and the administration.
The answers regarding the use of different online tools (Which of the following tools have you used so far?) were very varied. While some tools like Email, Online Maps and Online social networking, followed by chat and forums, foto and video sharing are used by over 50% of the respondents, other tools like Twitter and Webconferences are used much less.
We asked users to indicate how much they use these tools privately, professionally and for teaching. With the exception of learning platforms, it is interesting to note, that most tools are least frequently used in teaching!
Those who use learning platforms, reported using them mostly (over 90%) for posting course materials and assignments.
The responses further show that many factors can impede the implementation and administration of blended learning. The fact that instructors are not compensated for their efforts got the highest average agreement. They are therefore also not motivated to invest the extra effort. The lack of personal experience and skills explains the resistance instructors show to changing their ways of teaching.
The lack of an overall Blended Learning Strategy was also seen as a problem. On the other hand, most respondents did not see student motivation or lack of skills as a problem with students.
Lack of institutional support
Instructors are not given enough compensation for the effort involved in implementing and administering blended learning
The organisation has no overall Blended Learning Strategy
Instructors are not provided with enough ressources
Learners do not have enough time for online learning
It is difficult to establish the return of investment for blended learning measures
Instructors are not well prepared
Instructors are not motivated to invest the extra effort
Instructors lack personal experience with blended learning
Instructors are resistant to changing their way of teaching
Instructors do not have enough technical know how about tools
Instructors do not have sufficient knowledge about media design and usability
Instructors do not have enough methodical / didactical know-how
Instructors do not know about best practice examples which could serve as inspiration or model to follow
Content production and data maintenance
Content production is costly
Unclear intellectual property rights result in problems with use and reuse of content
Data privacy protection issues are not resolved
Learners are not well prepared for blended learning
Learners have problems with self-regulated learning
Learners are discouraged by technical problems
Learners are not motivated to learn online
Learners do not have enough know-how about tools and methods
Learners do not want to learn with computers
Finally, users considered the primary goal associated with the introduction of blended learning to be an improvement in the flexibility of learning. Interestingly reducing the cost of learning was considered the least important goal.
Pitfalls - Organisational
People not actually uploading course materials.
There should be a consensus or common approach to it so that everyone knows and uses it.
Indicating the return on investment beyond the financial indicators, participation of the leaders beyond giving their consent, weaving the learning into the work, the tribal nature of organisations, securing champions who with ensure sustainability, change.
if you don't want to work yourself to death, it is important to have the support of your institution. Tecnical problems and no tecnical support is hard to handle. Even if the students are highly motivated and you/ they obtain rather good results, it is hard if your institution is not interested. My advice would be: don't start a project like this on your own! But on the other hand: how can you make progresses without pioneers?
Getting everybody to login and check news in forum.
Education of the organization as to what is possible is my biggest challenge to-date.
The belief that such learning might be a waste of time and that teachers should not be paid equal amounts of money for using it, compared to the tradtional methods.
Courses taught partly online would have to be approved by the council of the Faculty, so nobody bothers and we all use the online platform just as a way of posting course materia.
bad law regulations no support from management
Assigning adequate regular mainstream budget for support and development. Initial difficulties in integrating with other systems
Not all the staff at the university is prepared to use blended learning.
convincing university administration to make it possible for instructors to teach online/blended
preparation course on e-learning platform is not included in the scientific output
Problems with convincing managment staff that implementing e-learning won't decrease the quality of teaching.
Anerkennung der Wichtigkeit zwar theoretisch vorhanden, finanz. Förderung (z.B. durch Schaffung fester Stellen) jedoch begrenzt
Little knowledge about blended learning.
Regulation needs improvement.
lecturers low computer skills
Counting the teachers work load.
Nicht immer hatte ich die Möglichkeit, wenigstens eine Unterrichteinheit im Komputerlabor zu veranstalten, um neue Studenten mit der Platform bekannt zu machen.
may be changing rooms with different technical equipment
Traditional attidude to teaching and learning.
Lack of motivation to change.
Es ziehen selten alle an einem Strang. Die Umsetzung sollte von der höchsten Leitungsebene mit vorangetrieben werden, ansonsten scheitern die Projekte oft an mangendem Verantwortungsbewusstsein einzelner Personen in den unterschiedlichen Abteilungen.
Not compromse or understanding of the use of BL
1. Encouraging the university government to make a decision about describing the strategic aims of university in terms of didactics improvement.
2. Building the e-Learning Centre team.
3. Law and procedures adaptation standing at Cracow University of Economics for a didactics development plan.
4. Building a complex and effective teachers assistance system.
5. Encouraging teachers and faculty leaders to cooperation.
6. Persuasion students to new forms of studying.
Implementierung von Nachhaltikeit, Zeitmangel sich intensiv mit dem Thema zu beschäftigen
Anrechnung von eLearning-Lehrleistungen waren in der Rahmenstudienordnung nicht vorgesehen. Dies wurde im August 2009 geändert (Amtl. Mitteilungsblatt der HTW 26/09).
lack of e.learning strategy. lack of coherence because of recent mergers. generational conflict
time for syncronous meetings
Pitfalls - Technical
Firewalls, compliance to corporate IT strategy, accessibility of technology to the learning groups,
Depending of your own technical skills you must have - preferably: tecnical support - at least: sparring
firewall issues and other internet stability problems
We would need to purchase any technology as we have no tech of our own
Transfer speed/spce available on the server
Moodle can be quite awkward to work with and a lot of options I would wish for aren't available
production costs of good materials high internet costs lack of e-lerning technology specialist inside the organization
Integration of wide range of databases and systems into single coherent approach
The number of weeks in Moodle is limited and it is difficult to add new topics throughout one semester.
Esspecialy for synchronous activities it is important to have good quality internet connections
Webkonferenzen/Skype: oft Audio-Probleme
Probleme mit einzelnen Tools/Plattformen durch Pop-up-Blocker, spez. Sicherheitseinstellungen (bes. IE), bei Nutzung einzelner Browser...
Tools teilweise zu komplex und Arbeitsabläufe nicht selbsterklärend
technische Basiskenntnisse mancher z.T. älterer Lehrender sind sehr gering
Software compatibility issues.
Not enough support team (programmers, multimedia designers).
Internet connection (related to school location)
trainers should be aware about possibilities but technicians should form an auxiliary staff to help trainers
Technikzentrierung, schlechtes, anachronistisch anmutendes Layout (bspw. ILIAS)
Making sure the new methods we want to try will work on old, slow, incompatible equipment.
Low level of technological skills (staff).
Einfache Anwendbarkeit ist wichtigste Voraussetzung. Die Tools sollten den Lernenden so vertraut sein, wie andere Anwendungen, die sie täglich nutzen. Die Antwortzeiten müssen kurz sein. Die Online-Anmeldung zum Lernsystem muss direkt und einfach zugänglich sein.
Lack of knowledge about technology or a poor technological infraestructure
1. Transition from existing informatique system to Moodle platform in terms of didactics.
2. Adaptation Moodle platform to universitys needs.
3. Actualization and development Moodle system.
Technische Probleme z.B. beim Einsatz von Virtual Classrooms nehmen einen Großteil der Veranstaltung ein. z.B. Audio funktioniert nicht. Schwierigkeit, TN aus der Ferne zu unterstützen (Probleme können vielgestaltig sein).
three different computing centres not all equally well run or staffed.
Pitfalls - Methodical
lack of "clear" structure/ lack of overview is frustrating and will disencurage learners
Nothing methodical exists today
Sometimes it is much easier to correct some things "live" in the classroom rather than do it through various learning platforms
training academic staff in special requirements of role of online tutor
Not all the students can have an access to the Internet.
digitising materials, creating learning paths and lessons
It is always the most difficult to decide what length online course should have (eg. 10 hourse in fraditional cllasses how long should take in online teaching?).
Motivation/Aktivierung der Teilnehmer/-innen
Präsenz-Konzepte sind nicht 1:1 auf Blended Learning übertragbar, sinnvolle Verbindung von eLearning- und Päsenzanteilen
sinnvolle Auswahl von Tools/Funktionalitäten für den geplanten Zweck
Some lecturers, trainers still try to teach old way with new tools and it doesn't work well.
Teachers should use more diverse learning activities.
Immerhin kann ich nicht alle Studenten ermuntern, Kurse im Kampus regelmäßig zu besuchen und zusätzliche Materielin zu studieren. Es bleiben in jedem Studienjahr etwa 10%, die vom Kampus keinen Gebrauch machen.
Wissen über E-Learning Didaktik fehlt mir und vielen Kolleginnen
creativity is impaired
Fehlende Medien-/Methodenkompetenzen der Lehrenden
No global concept of e-learning (blended learning) in my organisation.
Der inhaltliche Aufbau muss leicht verständlich sein. Unterschiedliche Methoden, die jedoch aufeinander abgestimmt sind, unterstützen das Interesse des Anwenders.
Knowledge about design for learning
1. Creation didactic courses model in new forms (blended learning, e-learning ect.) and implement the good practices regarding to preparation and leading e-courses.
2. Teachers preparation to effective using didactic methods and tools for e-teaching.
3. Persuasion teachers to skillful replacing didactic process elements which are realized in class room to work online.
persönliche Umdenken entwickelt sich nur sehr langsam
Umgang mit einem neuen Medium wird nicht als Lerninhalt gesehen. Wenn es nicht sofort klappt, ist alles Mist.
lots of experience necessary to master the blend of blended learning tools though.
to decide what to do in each case
Pitfalls - Other
Pressure of workload v learning in the priority list
high costs little mativating factors
Motivation of participants.
Zeitl. Mehraufwand für Lehrende (der oft nicht leistbar ist und auch nicht honoriert wird) für Konzeption, Einrichtung, ggfs. Produktion, Betreuung
Not being used to use blended learning.
There can be solved technical and other issues but it is difficult to find subject matter expert on that field (or get coo-operation).
Es wirkt etwas demotiviernd, wenn der Vorgesetzte die unternommene Aktivität gering achtet.
Bedienung häufig nicht so intuitiv. Zeitaufwändig.
Lernen am Arbeitsplatz begegnet vor allem Problemen im Verhältnis zu den Vorgesetzten und zu den Kolleginnen und Kollegen.
Locating solid research about the effectiveness of blended delivery of instruction. "Where is the proof?" our clients ask. Sure, students may like it, but does it work better? It seems obvious in a lot of cases it does, but finding quantitative data to back up assumptions and anecdotal results is challenging.
be focus on the students
Kenntnisse über mögliche Tools und deren Einsatz bei den meisten Hochschullehrenden gering.
advanced solutions like second life can be technically forbidding for some students or teachers. not self administered laptops for lecturers and staff are an issue.
Solutions - Organisational
Impressive blended learning products for CEOs, Open spaces for learning for all staff. Plus I need to get clever with my return on investment benefits that link to the internal measures as well as the external perception of customers and future employees.
If only I knew! Colleages obviously didn't have the slightest interest to invest time to learn how to use the facilities in an LMS. They hardly knew the facilities in MS-Word - and they didn't bother them.
Education at the instructors level
simplifying the university procedure for putting some course load online
simply ask the students and get some money
establishment of a centre which links technology and pedagogy and which is staffed by people with experience in both
Organising more trainings about blended learning for teachers.
providing online training for staff
preparation of course equivalent to the publication of the article
increase staff and lecturers knowledge of e-learning and the use of computers
have a clear plan where to go
Zentrale Ansprechpartner / Administration.
Integration von BL in Strategie (auf hohem Level)
Find ways to demonstrate that blended delivery is an investment, not just an expenditure. But spend money on the right things, especially factoring in the amount of time it takes to design, develop, implement, and properly evaluate teaching materials. Oh, and it costs money to CONSUME those products as well, and organizations have to accept that as well.
Leitungsebene mit einbinden, Vorgabe für den Einsatz von Blended Learning schaffen
Clear stragegy for BL, focus on teaching and learning activies and not in the political issues
1. A described strategy.
2. Proceed in small steps.
3. Build proficiently acting e-Learning Center team.
4. Cooperate with teams (departments), rather than people.
Externe Berater anhören
BL-Strategie sinnvoll, um gemeinsames Verständnis zu schaffen und das Thema nach Vorne zu bringen. eL-Anrechnung in Präsenzstudiengängen sinnvoll. Bündelung von Kräften, um Best Practice Beispiele zu schaffen.
make blended learning obligatory and solve the ensuing compensation issues for lecturers.
Solutions - Instructors
Instructors can seek to stretch the creative potential of their product and services. Know the technology. Stay in contact with the learner's 'learning edge' be it more sophisticated or very simple.
I didn't have any instructors at the time
bring educations out of the traditional box
taking part in e-learning projects, learning about good practices
think in terms of communication, interaction and encouragement of learners rather than content delivery
They can be more effective when they sacfrifice a special training for learners.
participating in blended learning trainings themselves
Additional financial compensation
Trainings should be provided before they start. It would be also an idea to have a kind of platform for exchanges ideas, experiences, case studies etc.
they should have a good methidological skills
they should be better motivated
Gemeinsam fachübergreifend nutzen.
smaller groups and less teaching load
Schulung von Medienkompetenz
Don't be dazzled by slick presentations that don't really add value to the learner. People can learn a lot from an amateur video on YouTube, if you select appropriate content that teaches the right things, even if it isn't the most polished appearance. Nice looking things that are expensive and stupid do not help matters when you're trying to prove that elearning can be useful.
Die Lernenden Stück für Stück mit Online-Elementen begeister.
Support them with trainging and reconized their effort.
1. It show the best practices.
2. It consult and train.
3. It form habits of a e-teacher.
4. It build an e-community of e-teachers.
Wissensvermittlung auf online umstellen, offline reflektieren und diskutiere.
Mit wenig anfangen und das Repertoire erweitern. Austausch mit anderen Lehrenden wichtig. Erfahrungsaustausch.
learning by doing
Solutions - Learners
Being real with the personal touch is important.
the thrill of being "modern" using modern ict
The experience, that the more you contribute to the community/ collaborative learning, the more you gain for yourself/ learn individually
precense, dialogue and feeback
good communication, interestening materials
motivational communications, including informal, encouraging video messages, personal touch where possible, rapid and frequent feedback
I think that using blended learning during traditional classes works best in supporting learners.
providing clear incentives for b-learning
active methods of education
Good quality of materials which allow to pass exam, interesting topics for disscussions.
Vorabklärung der technischen Vorsussetzungen, sodass es möglichst keine techn. Probleme gibt Interessante Aufgaben mit klarem Mehrwert für Studierende und Praxisbezug unterstützende Rückmeldungen der Lehrenden Eigene Begeisterung der Lehrenden für Blended Learning -> überträgt sich optimaleauf Studierende
giving responsibility and access to teacher's help when needed
Interesting activities and good quality learning materials (multimedia materials).
video materials, fresh content, "dynamics" of provided courses
Den Lernenden aktivierende Aufgaben stellen.
Statt klassischer Lernprogramme sollte der Einsatz von in den Arbeitsprozess integrierten Tools vorangetrieben werden.
Einbindung: Zwang (es gibt nur eine Möglichkeit, an Informationen(Inhalte zu kommen) - Unterstützung: Online-Tutoring, Mentoring
Be consistent in modeling the behavior you want to encourage in the learner. If you want them to develop social networks to foster informal learning, use them yourself. If you want them to try new things, try them yourself first.
Sie müssen den Erfolg direkt erkennen, die Anwendung muss "Spaß" machen, Usability als wichtige Voraussetzung
use a adecaute learnign approach.
Viele Lernende haben eine hohe Medienaffinität. Frage: Wie könnte diese genutzt werden (z.B. Vorschlag zum Einsatz best. Tools durch Lernende u.a.)?
continuous involvement, keeping abreast with new developments