S-Space College of Education (사범대학) Dept. of Foreign Language Education (외국어교육과) English Language (영어전공) Theses (Master's Degree_영어전공)
Korean graduate students learning experiences in a blended english writing for academic purposes course
- 사범대학 외국어교육과
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 대학원
- academic English writing; blended learning; Community of Inquiry framework; challenges of online interactions; second language writing feedback
- 학위논문 (박사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 외국어교육과, 2014. 8. 김진완.
- In the last few decades, blended learning has emerged as a new learning model which includes benefits for both online and face-to-face instruction. With the increased interest in blended learning for higher education in Koreas university and EFL settings, additional research is needed to understand how students work within blended learning environments in order to make language learning experiences meaningful and joyful.
To answer the question of how, the present study sought to explore the learning experiences of Korean graduate students enrolled in a blended English Writing for Academic Purposes course through a qualitative case study within the Community of Inquiry Framework (Garrison et al., 2000). The study first described the teaching and learning contexts to show how the course was designed. Second, the study examined the challenges guiding interactions in an online classroom, where most writing activities took place, and determining how the students overcame these challenges based on Moores three types of interactions
learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-content interaction (Moore, 1989). Finally, the study looked into the helpfulness of blended learning with respect to learning academic English writing.
The data were collected from multiple sources such as surveys, observational notes, reflective journals, and interviews, all of which were analyzed qualitatively to extract salient themes in the area of online interactional difficulties and values students placed on blended learning in relation to learning academic English writing.
The results illustrated a variety of challenges that the students encountered in online interactions and described various attempts they made to overcome these challenges. Cultural inhibition and unfamiliarity with online communication were prime challenges in interacting with the instructor. In learner-learner interactions, distrust of peer feedback and lack of face-to-face interaction appeared to be the challenges. Students also reported that the burdensome workload and the high level of lesson materials were barriers to online interactions with content.
However, students started to interact better with the instructor as they intentionally tried to practice English writing in the form of written speech. They also interacted more effectively among themselves after peer feedback trainings in a face-to-face classroom and spending more time building relationships face-to-face. Furthermore, students demonstrated different learning strategies to deal with content matters and online activities.
In regard to its value, blended learning was found to be important for learning academic English writing in different areas. The students evaluated that the instructors personalized and timely feedback were most helpful for improving academic English writing skills, but that peer feedback and group discussion were valued limitedly, because they were helpful for only certain areas of writing skills such as checking mechanical errors and brain storming ideas. Lastly, although these students were burdened by the high level of contents, they still found interactions with content helpful, because they could benchmark other students writings and utilize online resources for future references.
The research findings imply that second language writing in a blended learning format features interactivity in that writing is a collaborative experience of knowledge building through constant interactions with the instructor, peers, and content. Moreover, students experiences are varied due to differences in their educational backgrounds, needs, motivations, learning strategies, and personalities. Finally, the study suggests that the teaching presence, more than the social or cognitive presence, is dominantly called for to bring about meaningful interactions in Korean EFL blended learning
that is, teachers multiple roles as an instructor, designer, and facilitator should be fulfilled.