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Abstract

This study reports on the results of active student engagement and experiences in using learning supports within a blended learning environment (BLE) in the Irish insurance sector. Currently, there is a lack of comprehensive research focusing on this topic in the professional education sector. This paper is of interest to e-learning developers and educators who currently offer or are considering changing an education programme to a blended ‘bricks and clicks’ model, as well as those who want to consider how students can effectively engage in a BLE. From an Irish perspective, the Hunt Report (2011) comments that there is an increasing need for the provision of educational opportunities that differ significantly from the traditional model. The paper highlights that blended learning can be an alternative model to the traditional approach provided the correct supports are in place. The two archetypal learning environments can complement each other and accommodate the different learning styles that contribute to student examination success. Insights are drawn from instructor experience in delivering a blended learning programme to professional learners over a 20-week academic term. This experience is supported with both qualitative and quantitative research, the results of which demonstrate a positive correlation in a BLE between active engagement and examination success for students. Crucially, an iterative process of communication between educator and student is key to enhancing the BLE.

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