Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Date of Defense

12-5-2016

Graduate Advisor

Virginia Navarro. PhD

Committee

Joe Polman

Alina Slapac

Ralph Cordova

Abstract

Today’s college campuses are offering increased alternatives to the traditional face-to-face classroom, including hybrid or blended courses that combine online and face-to-face elements. Language learning is no exception. This instrumental case study examines the affordances and constraints of integrating technology into a hybrid language classroom, following one teacher’s construction of an undergraduate, hybrid English for Academic Purpose (EAP) grammar class for ten international students in their first year of study at an American university. Drawing on data from this single classroom case, findings address both the instructor’s and students’ perceptions of course content and delivery, knowledge expression activities, and classroom assessments. An understanding of multivoiced interpretations of hybrid learning illuminates the benefits and challenges of technology integration. Data sources include teacher, student, and focus group interviews, student pre-, mid-, and post-class surveys, document analysis of instructor lessons and course design, classroom observations, and reflective journaling over the course of the semester. Data analysis drew deeply from the phenomenological approach to data organization and interpretation. Findings were presented using textural, structural, and composite phenomenological elements. Through active collaboration with the language instructor, I document one teacher’s experience in purposeful hybrid course development and design, carefully recording and describing the essence of integrating technology tools to teach and the meanings that students articulate as they engage in new learning modalities. The research found that not only did the international students display a typical range of course success, they also articulated a value for learning how to use the technology in a new and unfamiliar learning environment. While there was some confusion on the students’ part about the distinction between learning independently and completing online activities/homework, the students reported that the self-reliant nature of the hybrid format better prepared them for their future studies. This dissertation yielded empirically-based, practical implications to support the implementation of knowledge-driven, pedagogically sound hybrid learning environments.

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