A road to understanding: A qualitative study into why learners drop out of a blended language learning (BLL) environment.

Stracke, E. (2007b). A road to understanding: A qualitative study into why learners drop out of a blended language learning (BLL) environment. ReCALL, 19(01), 57–78.

The paper reports on the reasons that a small, highly motivated group of students disliked a blended learning class enough to drop out within a few weeks and explores what is needed to avoid this happening. Although this paper reports on only three students, the reasons they dropped out are discussed elsewhere in this bibliography and can be seen to reveal fundamental issues that programs need to be aware of when implementing blended language learning initiatives. The reasons identified by the students for dropping out of the class included lack of support, e.g., guidance, sequencing, review by a teacher; prior beliefs about learning, e.g., the need for printed materials, and learning styles out of synch with the teaching style of the course; lack of connection or integration between the selfstudy portion and the classroom; difficulty and dislike working with the computer for one participant who didn’t realize ahead of time that the course was blended and an inability to relate to the computer as a medium for language learning. Stracke concludes by suggesting that more research is needed to understand why individual students like or dislike such a course and how to ensure that all students receive the support they need to succeed in similar language learning environments.

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Spotlight on Blended Language Learning: A Frontier Beyond Learner Autonomy and Computer-assisted Language Learning.

Stracke, E. (2007a). Spotlight on Blended Language Learning:  A Frontier Beyond Learner Autonomy and Computer-assisted Language Learning. In Proceedings of the Independent Learning Association 2. Presented at the Independent Learning Centre. : Exploring theory, enhancing practice Japan.

In this conference paper, the author identifies some key elements to consider in the development of successful blended learning initiatives. The identification of these elements is based on an empirical study of blended learning, defined as teaching and learning environments in which technology plays a role, in EFL programs. The author emphasizes the critical importance of allowing sufficient time for instructors and students to adapt to the blended learning environment, the need for technical support, the key role of a sense of community, the importance of the development of high-quality materials as well as potentially disruptive changes of roles. Finally the author argues for further research into the potential of blended learning as a useful means to integrate technology and independent learning in second language teaching and learning.

Retrievable From: http://www.independentlearning.org/uploads/100836/ILA2007_036.pdf