A descriptive study of pedagogical characteristics of online versus face-to-face teaching methods in a secondary blended learning environment
Kerri Ann Ruck, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, United States
Indiana University of Pennsylvania . Awarded
Online learning in the K-12 environment is outpacing other alternatives to the traditional face-to-face classroom instruction for many students. The number of online learning opportunities in grades K-12 has increased over the last decade. Due to this expansion, it is critical to determine appropriate pedagogy for the online learning context, specifically in the blended learning environment.
The purpose of this study was to describe the pedagogical characteristics of secondary blended classrooms when teachers use face-to-face versus online teaching methods with the same group of students. Furthermore, the study examined teachers' pedagogical beliefs and the influence they had, if any, on the teachers' classroom practices.
Data were gathered qualitatively through classroom observations, teacher interviews and review of classroom documents. Quantitative data were obtained through numerical coding of the interview and observational data. The quantitative approach numerically described the qualitative information using descriptive statistics. Further statistical treatment of the data included the standard deviation of the mean and the calculation of the confidence intervals of the mean scores from the observation rubric. The participants in this study were selected using purposive sampling based on their instructional status.
This study reported differences in the pedagogy between the face-to-face teaching mode and the online teaching mode in the blended learning environment. The three teacher participants displayed more teacher-centered pedagogical practices in the face-to-face mode compared to the online mode in the blended learning environment. The results also displayed inconsistencies between the teacher participants' pedagogical beliefs and their classroom pedagogical practices with both the face-to-face and the online teaching methods in the blended learning environment.
The findings indicate a need for uniform professional development programming related to classroom pedagogy for both unique learning contexts. The participants' online classroom pedagogy was more student-centered compared to their pedagogical beliefs. It is a possibility that the professional development they received regarding instruction related to online pedagogy ultimately affected their observed classroom pedagogy. Several implications suggest various influences on teachers' classroom practices including contextual school factors, teachers' personal preferences, teachers' inability to transfer pedagogical knowledge from instructional environments, and the espousal of beliefs while practicing other beliefs.
Ruck, K.A. A descriptive study of pedagogical characteristics of online versus face-to-face teaching methods in a secondary blended learning environment. Ph.D. thesis, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
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