Australian school student participation in senior science subjects has declined over the past 20 years. A recent report from the Australian Government, Office of the Chief Scientist, highlighted the pedagogical approach of Australian science teachers as an area of concern. Several researchers have suggested the pedagogical approach of blended learning improved student engagement. This study investigated student perceptions on the use of a blended learning approach with the Australian Year 10 Earth Science curriculum. The blended learning approach integrated online and face-to-face teaching. The study was conducted with two Year 10 Science classes at an independent state school in Far North Queensland, Australia. Online components of the course were available to students using the learning management system Blackboard® as it is the preferred system supported by the state education system in Queensland. This paper reports on qualitative data from focus group interviews and describes aspects of blended learning which the students perceived as barriers and benefits. The data also reflects student motivation for using eLearning in a blended learning course, and describes opportunities for improved student engagement. This study contributes to our understanding of factors affecting students’ engagement in secondary science. In addition, the results of this study highlight some of the key aspects of a successful blended learning approach to teaching science.
Bryn Martinsen, James Cook University, Australia
Clifford Jackson, James Cook University, Australia
Hillary Whitehouse, James Cook University, Australia
Stream: Future Classrooms
This paper is part of the ECTC2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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