Evaluation of blended learning: analysis of qualitative data

Ansie Harding, Dan Kaczynski, Leigh Wood


When we implement changes in learning, such as blended learning, we wish to judge the impact of the reform. Evaluation is a process by which we make judgments about the worth of an educational development. The difference in learning is subtle and deep and may be unexpected by those implementing the changes. Ways to explore these deep processes in learning include interviews, observations and open-ended questionnaires targeting all concerned in the process such as students, teaching, administration and technical staff. This generates a mass of qualitative data that many are unaccustomed to analysing.

This paper will discuss the process of evaluation; give an example of evaluation and show how to analyse qualitative data. We will discuss the use of the software tool NVivo to assist with the analysis. Papers that use results of qualitative analysis of student learning in mathematics and statistics include Petocz and Reid, (2001); Petocz and Reid, (2003); Reid, Petocz, Smith, Wood and Dortins (2003). These papers show that students in classes have qualitatively different ways of experiencing mathematics and statistics and that this affects their learning. Kaczynski and Kelly, (2004) describe a course that incorporates qualitative methodologies and analysis.

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