Academic journal article Journal of Education and Learning

Blended Learning Approach Using Moodle and Student's Achievement at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman

Academic journal article Journal of Education and Learning

Blended Learning Approach Using Moodle and Student's Achievement at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study attempts to identify factors behind the usage of a blended learning approach that could have an effect on students' achievement, motivation, collaboration and communication as perceived by students. It also aims to analyze obstacles faced by students in using Moodle in blended learning. A sample of 283-students from all colleges at Sultan Qaboos University was randomly selected. A questionnaire of 45 items is developed to collect data. The results reveal that using Moodle in blended learning has an average level of effectiveness related to students' motivation with a mean of 3.216 and mean of 3.164 for students' achievements, and mean of 3.199 is related to students' collaborations and communication. The results showed there is no statistical significant difference among student perceptions related to gender and college type. The results also revealed that the highest obstacles facing students related to frequent disturbance in computer devices with mean 3.090. Based on the result of the study, many recommendations have been developed.

Keywords: blended learning, moodle, student achievement, collaboration, communication

1. Introduction

Since Moodle was introduced as an opened source learning software, blended learning has been developed as another technical method in teaching beside the traditional face-to-face instruction (Dougiamas and Taylor, 2003). The expansion of the learning environment by using open source management system is supported by the social constructionist epistemologies theory (Andrews and Haythornthwaite, 2007). Its goal is to provide a set of tools that support an inquiry-and discovery-based approach, to create an environment that allows for collaborative interaction among students as a standalone or in addition to conventional classroom instruction. This theory focuses on sharing of opinions, ideas, and other social artifacts (Brandie, 2005).

Moreno et al. (2007) argue that the correct and effective use of technology in education must be supported by proven pedagogical and practical procedures based on computer supported collaborative learning and constructional learning. This approach generally involves discussion groups and building knowledge through activities closer to the real world. This practical real world situation is meaningful-learning contexts that give the students the opportunity to learn through a variety of approaches (Heckman et al., 2000).

Using Moodle in teaching develops learners' communicative skills in language and requires social interaction between the teacher and students and among the students themselves (Al-Ani, 2008). Siirak (2008) also argues that blended learning with computer based learning in a Moodle e-learning environment, based on social constructivist learning theory is an effective tool for teaching and learning in the occupational health and safety discipline.

The term e-learning (EL) course includes content "that is, information and instructional methods (that is, techniques) that help people learn content" (Clark and Mayer, 2008, p. 10). While the term blended learning is defined "as any mixture of any form of learning possible: classroom, virtual-classroom, or standalone e-learning" (Horton, 2006, p. 381). Kester et al. (2007) describe a system (using Moodle) that helps learners to match their knowledge with complementary content expertise in reaction to requests for knowledge sharing. The study showed the way that Moodle assists in hosting the community that enables learners to share their competence eligibility, availability and stimulates their social interaction.

E-learning has developed from a process focused on distributing information and knowledge to one that deeply engages learners in sophisticated interactions through communities that transcend geographic barriers (Liebowitz and Frank, 2011). This gives EL the benefit of exceeding the process of delivering knowledge. It strives to change students' behaviors, and increases content effectiveness. …

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