Proceedings of The 2nd Global Conference on Education and Teaching
Improved Engagement and Learning in a Blended Learning Environment (Virtual and Face-to-face) during COVID-19 Pandemic for a STEM Related Subject, Discrete Mathematics
Dr Anastasia Sofroniou
It is widely accepted that blended learning can be defined as the form of educational delivery which includes both the face-to-face and online learning environment. Ultimately, the engagement levels of a student within a face-to face learning environment can be controlled to maximize their learning. Learning engagement is not only the interaction between a student and an educator but it is also the peer collaboration as well as students’ involvement in active learning. The COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in majority of educational institutions internationally to transition to a blended learning environment to abide to social distancing rules. Despite the situation, our knowledge on whether higher educational institutions have successfully dealt with teaching in a blended learning environment is lacking. This gap in knowledge needs to be addressed so that educational institutions can recognise the necessary procedures needed to protect the education of students in a blended learning environment. This paper attempts to evaluate the learning and engagement levels of Discrete Mathematics students who experienced a blended learning environment during COVID-19 pandemic. Two independent approaches are employed: a questionnaire to gather both qualitative and quantitative information from the students that underwent the blended learning environment during the pandemic, and an analysis of exam results of this module for the Academic Years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021. This study revealed that there were no significant signs of improvement in learning for this STEM subject module whilst students endured a blended learning approach and yet, engagement levels did not show any growth whilst this learning technique was adapted.
keywords: Blended teaching; Mathematics; Engagement; Learning.