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Teacher Conceptions of Blended Learning and Association with Design of Learning Activities: Outcomes of a Structured Academic Development Course

Wednesday 3 July: 5:30pm – 7:00pm, poster session



Jeanette Lyn Fung Choy
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Associate Professor Adrian Michael Lee
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Alan Soong
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Charina Ong
National University of Singapore, Singapore



This study seeks to build on current knowledge of blended learning (BL) in teaching in order to better understand how academic development initiatives can be structured to develop and strengthen academics’ pedagogical practices in implementing BL in university education within Singapore and beyond. The aim of this study is twofold. First, we explored the impact of a 13-hour structured academic development course on designing a BL approach to teaching on academics’ knowledge, skills and attitudes. Second, we investigated the mindsets and processes of 2 groups of academics who had designed learning activities for their BL courses in a research-intensive university in Singapore. The first group of academics had implemented BL at the early stages of the university’s efforts to encourage the broader adoption of this innovative approach, while the second group comprised academics who had attended the structured academic development BL course and subsequently implemented BL in their own modules.

Quantitative analysis of survey responses reported that attending the BL course had brought about gains and clarity on concepts associated with the pedagogy, a detectable change in academics’ confidence towards implementing learning activities and assessing students’ learning, and a slight shift in their orientation towards a more student-centred educational approach. Analysis of interview data further revealed qualitative differences among the academics’ conceptions of BL, the choice of learning paths for BL, approaches to both designing and structuring learning activities, and the mode of students’ engagement (Chi, 2009) the designed activities may potentially elicit.

This study highlights the importance of the academic development course in addressing not only the essential elements of BL, but also the roles of the academic developers in supporting academics to adopt such innovative practices. The implications for academic development practices to provide effective support to academics engaged in BL will also be discussed.



Chi, M. T. (2009). Active-constructive-interactive: a conceptual framework for differentiating learning activities. Topics in Cognitive Science, 1(1), 73–105.
Leibowitz, B. (2014) Reflections on academic development: What is in a name?, International Journal for Academic Development, 19(4), 357–360.
Prosser, M., & Trigwell, K. (1999) Understanding learning and teaching: The experience in higher education, McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
Prosser, M., Trigwell, K., & Taylor, P. (1994) A phenomenographic study of academics’ conceptions of science learning and teaching, Learning and instruction, 4(3), 217–231.


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