Factors affecting the teaching and learning of English in a blended learning environment in a Vietnamese university
Tran, L. T. H. (2020). Factors affecting the teaching and learning of English in a blended learning environment in a Vietnamese university (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14050
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14050
The adoption of blended learning solutions in higher education has increased significantly over some years in many developing countries, including Vietnam. While blended learning has been well-researched in Western countries such as the USA, the UK and Australia, little has been known about blended learning in Vietnamese contexts. Previous research has indicated that the adoption of blended learning in higher education can be affected by numerous factors. Thus, my study aims to add to this research, by exploring factors that affect the teaching and learning of English in a blended learning approach in a Vietnamese university. I used a mixed methods design approach for gathering data. Quantitative data were collected from an online survey to 339 English as a Foreign Language (EFL) second-year students at the university. Qualitative data were collected from semi-structured interviews with 7 students, 3 programme leaders (PLs) and 5 teachers at the university. The collected data were then analysed and interpreted using Engeström’s (1987) Activity Theory as a framework. Key findings indicated that the PLs’ design activity, teachers’ works and students’ learning in their English blended courses were mediated by the Learning Management System (LMS) structure, the institutional regulations and their roles and responsibilities. The PLs and the teachers viewed the LMS as having affordances including helping deliver learning content materials and monitor students’ online task completion. However, the constraints of the LMS such as a lack of communicational tools within the LMS and its behaviouristic features hindered students’ blended learning experience. These constraints also prompted the teachers to use communicational tools external to the LMS to interact with students. The institutional requirements were also found to influence blended learning design decisions and teaching activities. Several online learning challenges inhibited students’ blended learning experience including students’ limited self-regulated learning skills, teachers’ inadequate online facilitation; online assessment issues; and technical problems. This study has several implications and recommendations for Vietnamese higher education institutions who wish to implement EFL blended learning. These include raising institutional awareness of developing blended learning programmes to fit intended educational outcomes, considering students’ knowledge and skills needed for blended courses, and providing ongoing professional development and support for both designing and teaching staff. Moreover, addressing technical issues and improving the LMS will make learning and teaching experiences of blended courses more rewarding
The University of Waikato
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