CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)

Department

College of Engineering and Computing

Committee Member

Martha M. Snyder

Committee Member

Laurie P. Dringus

Committee Member

Ling Wang

Abstract

Community colleges are being encouraged to find and provide access to higher education by offering more flexible course delivery methods to meet the needs of their diverse student body. At the same time, these institutions must retain their quality of instruction, accountability for learning outcomes, and institutional obligations. Blended learning, where students attend class both on campus and online, is promoted as one solution for attaining such goals. Among the four-year undergraduate population, blended learning has been shown to support student success, meet diverse learning styles, and meet institutional obligations; however, research within the community college population is limited. In particular, faculty members’ perspectives and challenges for teaching blended learning have not been well documented.

The goal was to understand the dispositions of the community college faculty towards blended learning. An exploratory, qualitative case study design was used to gain an in-depth understanding of this phenomenon within the real world context of the community college. An open-ended survey and semi-structured interview were used to collect data from faculty members at Suffolk County Community College in NY. In addition, course outlines, interview field notes, and archived course data were also collected. There were 26 survey participants from three campuses, of which 10 were interviewed. Survey participant self-reported gender was 17 females, 8 males and 1 prefer not to answer; faculty rank ranged from instructor to adjunct professor. Data were analyzed using a structured descriptive systematic approach.

The results provided a composite view of community college faculty member’s dispositions towards blended learning, which identified fifteen themes as: Definition of Blended Learning, Rationale for Blended Learning Environment, Blended Learning Design Schedule, Degree of Contact, Multidimensional Role, Interactions, Technology Skill Required, Perceived Technology Skill, Blended Learning What Works and Doesn’t Work, Recommendations, What Works and Doesn’t Work for Community College Blended Learning Students, Flexible Schedules and Learning Environment. Findings also guided recommendations for teaching blended learning courses within this community college and an outline for approaching blended learning implementation.