Core conceptual features of successful blended learning in higher education: Policy implications  

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Abstract

COVID-19 has “taught” universities worldwide that using digital technologies to support purely online or blended learning is a survival strategy. This lesson plus the inclusion of technology in continental, national, and university policies and strategic plans implicate significant technology integration, especially blended learning, in higher education in the post-pandemic era. However, there lacks sound theoretical frameworks to adequately explain success indicators and success factors in blended learning. Existing frameworks provided particulars about the impacts of blended learning within certain contexts; none provided a comprehensive analysis of the significant factors that transcend specific application contexts. Moreover, the frameworks did not offer clear conceptions of knowledge, teaching, learning, and technology and its role in learning. To better inform successful blended learning adoption, this study problematizes success indicators and success factors based on a configurative review of existing frameworks and emerging theoretical perspectives in higher education. A holistic conceptual framework that transcends context specificity is proposed to better inform policy making, instructional design, and teaching and learning. Conceptions of adaptive policy, policy as learning design, and policy as practice are found relevant for blended learning policy making and analysis in higher education.

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How to Cite
Bekele, T. A., Karkouti, I. M., & Amponsah, S. (2022). Core conceptual features of successful blended learning in higher education: Policy implications  . Education Policy Analysis Archives, 30, (156). https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.30.7444
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Author Biographies

Teklu Abate Bekele, The American University in Cairo

Teklu Abate Bekele is an associate professor of international and comparative education in the Department of Educational Studies at the American University in Cairo. His research interest areas include digital technology integration in learning and teaching in higher education, emerging higher education-society engagements and partnerships in Africa, and international organizations and educational development in the Global South.

Ibrahim M. Karkouti, The American University in Cairo

Ibrahim M. Karkouti is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the American University in Cairo. An independent thinker, a young scholar, and a life-long learner, his research focuses on diversity issues in higher education, educational technology, refugee education, and the types of social support K-12 teachers need to implement reform.

Samuel Amponsah, University of Ghana

Samuel Amponsah is a senior lecturer and heads the Distance Education Department of the University of Ghana. His research interests include adult learning, open distance learning, and inclusive education.