Edith Cowan University, Western Australia in association with Khon Kaen University, Thailand and Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, Thailand.
We are constantly seeking for the best method to teach our students. Lecture style which is in existence for many years is still applicable to a certain extent. The birth of personal computer and Internet has resulted in wide spectrum of instructional strategies taking advantage of these two wonders. One of them is blended learning. The model used in this experiment has online and offline modes. For the online mode we used forum discussions to replace face-to-face instructions. Lecturers are introduced to various online activities that they can choose from in the forum discussions. One of the important aspects of blended learning is the integration of offline and online activities. The other aspect of the blended learning model is the offline mode or face-to-face teaching in the classroom. This experiment lasted for four weeks involving three lecturers and a total of 73 students. Each lecturer was given different degrees of blending in this experiment, that is, 25% online mode, 50% or 75% the highest online mode. For instance, in a 25% online mode students do not attend class for one week in a 4-week experiment. This study shows that students do view the new teaching method in a positive manner as many of them on average reported improvement in self study and time management skills. Whether different degrees of blending benefit students differently, this pilot study tends to show that there is no significant difference between the 25% and 75% groups in self study, attitude toward blended learning and forum participation.