Education and Information Technologies

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 83–104 | Cite as

Blended learning in computing education: It’s here but does it work?

  • Ellen F. MonkEmail author
  • Kevin R. Guidry
  • Kathleen Langan Pusecker
  • Thomas W. Ilvento


Blended learning, a combination of face-to-face and computer-assisted pedagogy, is gaining acceptance at universities as an alternative learning experience. Modern technology has given faculty new ways to incorporate active learning and increase student engagement in their courses. Although the broad history of technology-enhanced coursework has demonstrated that student learning is usually very comparable to what occurs in traditional coursework, recent studies focusing specifically on blended learning in totally redesigned classes report positive results. Were those positive results due to the online blending or to the redesign of the class? To answer this question and other limitations and challenges in past studies, the authors present their unique research that measures learning in a blended undergraduate management information systems course where identical classes were compared, one being all face-to-face and one being one-third online. By varying only course modality, this research answers the question of whether blended learning is a superior learning environment in an undergraduate MIS class, a second-level MIS class covering ERP, business processes, databases, advanced spreadsheets, and data analytics. Collecting both quantitative and qualitative data, the authors use a critical realism lens to create a mechanism for learning. Quantitative data, analyzed by multiple regression models and qualitative data, analyzed by content analysis lead to the outcome that learning is comparable to traditional coursework, grade-wise, but students prefer face-to-face class time. It also reveals that self-regulatory skills are evident, confirming that blended learning can aid in the construction of learning.


Blended learning Constructivism Critical realism E-learning Hybrid learning 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen F. Monk
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kevin R. Guidry
    • 2
  • Kathleen Langan Pusecker
    • 2
  • Thomas W. Ilvento
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Accounting and MISUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Teaching and Assessment of LearningUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  3. 3.Applied Economics and StatisticsUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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