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DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A BLENDED LEARNING STRATEGY FOR A COMPUTER SCIENCE COURSE AT THE FACULTY OF SCIENCES, OMER AL-MUKHTAR UNIVERSITY, LIBYA

Othman, Aisha A. (2017) DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A BLENDED LEARNING STRATEGY FOR A COMPUTER SCIENCE COURSE AT THE FACULTY OF SCIENCES, OMER AL-MUKHTAR UNIVERSITY, LIBYA. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Abstract

This research project focuses on the design, development and implementation of a blended learning strategy at the Faculty of Science in Omar Al-Mukhtar University, Libya. The researcher’s experience as a lecturer in Computer Science within this university represents a valuable asset which has enabled her to carry out this research project in an effective manner by demonstrating how technological innovation changes the way that universities teach and students learn. The implementation of a blended learning approach in the Computer Science course has enabled students to experience better learning outside of the classroom, and increased lecturers’ availability during taught sessions by combining the advantages of digital and in-person pedagogies.

Initially, the structure and characteristics of the Computer Science course are presented alongside the aims, objectives and research questions for this thesis. Then, the conclusions of the literature review, which is related to the theory of teaching and learning, School Based Learning (SBL), Lab Based Learning (LBL), e-learning and blended learning, are described. The assessment of these sources brings to light the powerful connections between lab-based learning, the use of technology for the procedures of teaching and learning, theories and paradigms of learning and structures of information quality. The three questionnaires used in this research project were designed by considering aspects of reliability, validity, bias and triangulation. The results of quantitative and qualitative analysis of the responses have been used to formulate the blended learning approach and to design and evaluate the e-learning package. The quantitative analysis used a statistical technique, while the qualitative analysis was achieved by looking at the answers to open-ended questions. Questionnaire 1 was completed by lecturers and lab instructors in order to identify the skills gap between SBL and LBL. Questionnaire 2 was completed by students in order to determine their preferred learning styles for lab classes. The conclusions from the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the responses were used to design both the LBL skills model and the blended learning approach, whereby students receive theoretical explanations during lectures and then are asked to solve exercises from and e-learning package before attending the face-to-face lab sessions. The design, development and implementation of the e-learning package was achieved by using a user-centred approach comprising the following phases: user analysis, structure and representation, knowledge and communication analysis, and interface and navigation design. Case study 1 contained theoretical concepts and exercises related to the design of a website using the attributes and main elements of HTML coding. Case study 2 included exercises associated with the design of a simple website using Dreamweaver software and enabling the development of students’ ‘soft skills’, including communication skills and decision-making. Other exercises provided an introduction to methods of improving the look of web pages with a one or two column layout. Case study 3 aimed to enable feasible collaborative learning in groups, in which students developed and designed websites by using HTML links, images, headers and paragraphs. Questionnaire 3 was completed by both students and lecturers to provide an evaluation of the e-learning package using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). The conclusions from analysis of the responses provided were used to formulate a set of recommendations for the design of blended learning strategy in the Faculty of Science at Omar Al-Mukhtar University, Libya.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Schools: School of Education and Professional Development
Depositing User: Rebecca Hill
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2019 09:03
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 15:45
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/34803

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