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Analyzing the Impact of Introducing Active Learning in a Blended Educational Environment

Enosha Hettiarachchi
University of Colombo School of Computing, Sri Lanka

Abstract—In large classrooms, keeping students active for a prolonged period is a difficult task. Studies have shown that students can keep their attention active for a shorter duration such as 15-20 minutes. Thus, the importance of introducing active learning techniques to classrooms has arisen. Active learning will ultimately lead to students being deep leaners. However, most of the lectures consist of 30- hour face-to-face sessions where students meet the lecturer for only 2 hours per week. Therefore, only introducing active learning in a face-to-face session, will not make students become self-directed deep learners. As a solution to this, active learning techniques can also be introduced in the online environment using a Learning Management System (LMS). This paper focuses on analyzing the impact of introducing different active learning techniques to promote deep learning in an Undergraduate Computer Science course conducted in a Blended Learning environment. The impact was analyzed using a mixed-method approach with respect to the student’s active involvement, engagement, and performance in the assessments. For quantitative analysis, data obtained in the form of assessment marks, statistics based on three-most important points covered in the lecture, students feedback based on Likert and three-point scale questions, and LMS logs were used. For qualitative analysis, students’ perceptions and observation techniques were used. Based on the results, it shows that students have actively participated in all activities in both the online and the faceto- face environment, and they also had good perceptions about the techniques introduced. Students’ learning process has improved after introducing active learning techniques. Also, introducing formative assessments for active learning has a significant effect on the final examination. 
Index Terms—active learning, blended learning, experiences in education, formative assessment, higher education, interactive e-learning

Cite: Enosha Hettiarachchi, "Analyzing the Impact of Introducing Active Learning in a Blended Educational Environment," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 285-291, December 2019. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.5.4.285-291