Open-access journal articles on online, blended or flexible course design

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Open-access journal articles on online, blended or flexible course design

Written by JJ Cloutier

We sourced a selection of open-access articles, all published in 2023, from several open-access journals.

Beyond emergency remote teaching: did the pandemic lead to lasting change in university courses? 

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted traditional methods of teaching and learning within higher education. But what remained when the pandemic passed? While the majority of the literature explores the shifts during the pandemic, with much speculation about post-pandemic futures, a clear understanding of lasting implications remains elusive. To illuminate this knowledge gap, our study contrasts pedagogical practices in matched courses from the pre-pandemic year (2019) to the post-pandemic phase (2022/2023).

A student-centered approach using modern technologies in distance learning: a systematic review of the literature

A literature review was conducted to develop a clear understanding of the student-centered approach using modern technologies in distance learning. The study aimed to address four research questions: What research experience already exists in the field of the student-centered approach in distance learning? What modern technologies are used in distance learning, and how are they related to the student-centered approach? What are the advantages and limitations of implementing the student-centered approach and modern technologies in distance learning? 

The impact of an online inquiry-based learning environment addressing misconceptions on students’ performance 

This study sought to develop and evaluate an online module based on inquiry learning with digital laboratories, which was intended to address students’ misconceptions in a science domain. In a quasi-experimental design, 171 first-year students in a higher education introductory physics course on circular motion were as their existing groups assigned to an experimental (n = 100) or a control (n = 71) condition. The experimental condition was developed by arranging online inquiry activities that would encourage students to probe five identified misconceptions.

Exploring student perceptions and use of face-to-face classes, technology-enhanced active learning, and online resources 

The current cohort of undergraduate students is often said to value technology and is assumed to prefer immersive, interactive, and personalized learning experiences. In contrast, many educators recognise the value of face-to-face classes and believe that attending class positively impacts student performance. A novel teaching strategy, including traditional lectures and interactive workshops using an educational technology platform were implemented in an undergraduate neurobiology course. Attendance in class and use of lecture capture recording were associated with improved student performance. 

A familiar peer improves students’ behavior patterns, attention, and performance when learning from video lectures 

Synchronous online learning via technology has become a major trend in institutions of higher education, allowing students to learn from video lectures alongside their peers online. However, relatively little research has focused on the influence of these peers on students’ learning during video lectures and even less on the effect of peer familiarity. The present study aimed to test the various effects of peer presence and peer familiarity on learning from video lectures. There were three experimental conditions: individual-learning, paired-learning with an unfamiliar peer, and paired-learning with a familiar peer.

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