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The implementation of blended learning in International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) English A curriculum in Singapore: an exploratory design-­‐based research

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Published
  • Doreen Ang
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Publication date2018
Number of pages198
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Twenty-first century challenges have generated increasing focus in the use of technology in classrooms to better prepare students for the knowledge economy. In Singapore, the Ministry of Education has encouraged both a shift toward more student-centred pedagogies and the use of technology in classrooms. Though inclusion of technology into classrooms is deemed as useful, it has met with resistance. Teachers and students generally regard information and communications technology (ICT) as an add-on with marginal importance in examination-oriented Singapore.

In Singapore, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme was introduced in some schools with the aim to nurture students as inquirers, thinkers and communicators over a challenging two-year timeline. Amidst such challenges, this study uses a blended learning approach to address systemic requirements (i.e. ICT) under curricular constraints of the IBDP.

Research was conducted using design-based research by the teacher-researcher over a period of three academic terms within a calendar year. Data, collected from two classes, included field notes, questionnaires and focus group interviews (FGIs). The analysis of the two questionnaires, using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software, provided an overview of the patterns of students’ use of technology before and after the intervention study. Content analysis was used as a method of analysis for the FGIs. Themes that emerged from the FGIs were mapped onto a Considerations Model, providing a more nuanced overview of key considerations needed for a blended learning approach.

Findings showed that students enjoyed blended learning and found it useful as a bridge between the curriculum and their world; but, they were first and foremost, concerned with their academic performance. Though these students are by some researchers defined as digital natives, findings showed that they were not necessarily digitally literate. Nonetheless, this study suggests that a blended learning approach could be implemented through the Considerations Model.