It is important today to prepare pre-service teachers to integrate social media tools into their lessons and to teach them how to use social media as a learning environment for educational context. Based on this, an undergraduate course was designed to fulfil this need. Hence, the purpose of this study is to investigate the behaviours and perceptions of 27 pre-service teachers enrolled to a 14-week social-media enriched blended course. Facebook was used to support an out-of-class teaching and learning process. During the course, students developed educational content and were informed on how to use social media as a learning environment in an educational context. After implementation, they were asked to respond to an open-ended questionnaire related to the 14-week course process and social media usage in lessons. According to the findings, pre-service teachers stated that the use of social media tools, in addition to face-to-face learning, can enhance the dissemination of announcements, communication between students and instructor, the sharing of instructional activities, discussions, and the use and creation of multimedia tools and applications 24x7, by extending the limits of normal class hours. Most also stated that they would use Facebook for material and announcement sharing once they were in-service teachers. In addition to Facebook, they emphasised that they would also use Prezi, Glogster, MindMeister and Edmodo for their lessons and that they had learnt new concepts and social media tools during the course. They also suggested increasing the number of course hours and reducing course content per course session.
In this paper we aim to describe the process by which our personalised web-based collaborative teaching/learning methodology (CECIP - Collaboration - Evaluation - Critical thinking - Individual assessment - learner Profile) evolved originating from Vygotsky's theory and based on the (C) collaborative construction of student's knowledge, (E) developing evaluation and assessment skills, (C) developing critical thinking skills, (I) integrating individual evaluation and (P) generating learner profile. Our CECIP methodology integrates individual learning style dimensions and their preferences into e-learning environment by filling out MBTI, Gardner, GEFT and Felder-Silverman questionnaires during our four-semester-research. The paper covers the theoretical foundations of Learning Styles giving analogies to preferred learning strategies. A three-part-research process is described through which the described CECIP model emerged: (1) analysing Learning Styles and Learning Management Systems that claim to support their work; (2) raising the background knowledge of students in cognitive psychology in order to improve design and evaluation methodologies of multimedia learning materials; (3) personalising tasks and assessment based on Bloom's Taxonomy.
Blended learning is becoming an attractive model in higher education as new innovative information technologies are becoming increasingly available. However, just blending face-to-face learning with information technologies cannot provide effective teaching and efficient solutions for learning. To be successful, blended learning must rely on solid learning theory and pedagogical strategies. In addition, there is a need for a design-based research approach to explore blending learning through successive cycles of experimentations, where the shortcomings of each cycle are identified, redesigned, and reevaluated. This paper reports on a study conducted on a blended learning model in Java programming at the introductory level. It presents the design, implementation, and evaluation of the model and its implications for the learning of introductory computer programming.