Academic journal article English Language Teaching

The Effects of Blended Learning on the Intrinsic Motivation of Thai EFL Students

Academic journal article English Language Teaching

The Effects of Blended Learning on the Intrinsic Motivation of Thai EFL Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

The aim of this study is to compare the results of blended learning with face-to-face learning among university students studying English as a foreign language. The participants were separated by gender, and the following variables, intrinsic motivation for learning English, attitudes towards English as a subject, and satisfaction with the learning climate, which was either a blended learning environment or a face-to-face learning environment, were analysed. The participants of this research are bachelor's degree students enrolled in English courses. The two class samples were drawn at random. The first class was the control group, and the other was the experimental group. The experimental group was taught using blended learning, and the control group was taught using face-to-face learning. The results of the research did not differ by gender. The students had significantly higher levels of intrinsic motivation for learning English, a better attitude towards English as a subject, and better satisfaction with the learning climate after they were taught by blended learning. Finally, the students who were taught using blended learning had significantly higher levels of intrinsic motivation for learning English and a better attitude towards English as a subject, as well as greater satisfaction with the learning climate than the students who were taught using face-to-face learning.

Keywords: blended learning, intrinsic motivation, attitudes, satisfaction, learning climate, face-to-face learning

1. Introduction

Progress in computer and communication systems has enabled the world to become a global society that is interconnected by the internet. The internet has been useful and has had a positive effect on education systems - both the educational establishments and the students they serve (Vijitsriphiboon, 2006). Olapiriyakul and Scher (2006) state that students can have new experiences as resources are combined; the combination of resources allows for more flexibility and additional options for access to information. The internet allows a student to access information in ways that fit his/her lifestyle, and the student's learning becomes more effective (Vijitsriphiboon, 2006). Universities can offer a larger variety of options for students and can use their academic resources more effectively. Many universities use the internet for services, including library research for academic resources, and offer courses with different learning modes. Students are becoming more welcoming of internet technology in the education system, allowing for an ease of access to information and flexibility in the scheduling of courses (Waidee, 2003). As a result of this change in teaching and learning styles, the internet has reduced the use of traditional classroom teaching and replaced it with more effective systems, using programs such as Moodle and ATutor to manage classes.

The use of the internet at the university level and its integration with traditional in-class methods can enhance the learning experience of the student in acquiring, for example, English skills. English classes are designed in such a way that theory and practice prepare the students to use the language outside the classroom and to keep and apply the knowledge in different contexts. The downside of traditional language learning is that the students lack motivation due to their learning environment, where they are not involved in their learning. To address this issue, researchers have attempted to integrate technology into the classroom to allow for more variety to motivate student engagement. Students can be more active, be part of a more interesting learning environment, and develop intrinsic motivation for learning English, attitudes towards English as a subject, and satisfaction with the learning climate. With these possibilities in mind, the researcher has created a management system to observe the effect of blended learning on students' intrinsic motivation for learning English, attitudes towards English as a subject, and satisfaction with the learning climate. …

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