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Online Learning, v20 n3 p140-158 Sep 2016

There are substantial quantitative research and anecdotal reports on blended learning and blended learning courses. However, few research studies focus on what happens at the classroom level. This research study aims to consider the highly contextual environment of effective blended learning courses by identifying the strategies instructors use to unify the face-to-face and online components of their courses to support student success. Using a case study model, interviews were conducted with three community college instructors who were identified as exemplary teachers of blended learning courses in their institutions. The research questions explored in this article are: (R1) What are exemplary community college teachers' perceived obstacles to student success in blended courses? and (R2) What solutions or strategies do exemplary community college teachers employ to overcome perceived obstacles to student success in blended courses? The interviews were analyzed by the researchers to identify descriptive themes and sub-themes related to student success. It was found that "comfort" emerged as a mediating factor for student success, with "organization," "communication," and "support" acting as supporting themes. These findings will be reported as pedagogical strategies and scalable best practices for the design of blended courses that promote student success.

Descriptors: Blended Learning, Classroom Environment, Case Studies, Community Colleges, College Faculty, Interviews, Barriers, Success, Influences, Classroom Techniques, Two Year College Students, Course Organization, Classroom Communication, Models, Grounded Theory

Online Learning Consortium, Inc. P.O. Box 1238, Newburyport, MA 01950. Tel: 888-898-6209; Fax: 888-898-6209; e-mail: olj[at]; Web site:

Autor: Futch, Linda S.; deNoyelles, Aimee; Thompson, Kelvin; Howard, Wendy


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