Designing a blended learning environment for enhanced learner engagement: The EQUAD Framework


Neo, Mai (2022) Designing a blended learning environment for enhanced learner engagement: The EQUAD Framework. In: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, 4-6 July 2022, Palma, Spain.

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Education has seen a tremendous growth in the use of technology over the last decade. Governments in many countries have developed initiatives to drive educational institutions to redesign their classrooms to become more technology-supported. In Malaysia, the Ministry of Higher Education ‘s Blueprint 2015-2025 calls for universities to develop more innovative and technology-based methods for teaching. Fortunately, with Web 2.0 tools, our educators were provided with the educational support they need to make that transition. However, this transition has received mixed results, as educators with more technology-supported or e-learning teaching experiences were better able to transition to the virtual environment than those with little to no experiences. Research has shown that there is still a lack of confidence in many educators to use e-learning technology and Web 2.0 tools in their classrooms. In Multimedia University, Malaysia, a blended learning initiative was implemented across all campuses to echo the government’s call. In particular, in the Faculty of Creative Multimedia, a blended learning framework, the EQUAD (Engage, Enhance, Empower and Enjoy), was developed, based on research supported by grants from Telekom Malaysia Research and Development (TMRnD), and applied in this study. The EQUAD framework is underpinned by Vygotsky’s (1987) Socio-Constructivist learning approaches, which posits that students are active learners who build upon their knowledge in a social environment. The framework suggests the following: - Engaging students in their learning process. This can be achieved through authentic, group-based activities, and problem-solving and project-based learning. - Enhancing cognitive engagement through process and not content learning, such a flipped classroom and collaborative learning approaches. - Empowering them to experience collaborative learning, problem-solving, teamwork and social interactions with their peers. - Enjoying the process of scholarship by becoming actively involved in their learning, becoming co-creators and owners of their learning artefacts, and consequently becoming highly motivated towards their online courses. In this study, a postgraduate class in the faculty was redesigned and incorporated the EQUAD framework and its elements. The framework was mapped to the design of the class, which consisted of 3 learning drivers: the instruction, the learning environment, as well as the activities embedded in the course. Students were given a group project to complete by the end of the trimester and activities were carried out throughout the trimester to support their final learning outcome. Blended learning tools such as Google Classroom, Padlet, blogs and Youtube provided technology and web 2.0 support for the implementation of the EQUAD framework. When the project was completed, students’ feedback was solicited to gauge their attitudes towards the EQUAD-based learning environment. Results showed that students liked the integration of the elements of the EQUAD framework and blended learning tools in their online class and reported that their learning of the course content improved and their engagement in the class increased. These results provided positive and supportive evidence for using the EQUAD framework as a learning strategy for implementing blending learning approaches in online classes.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Equad, constructivist learning environments, Malaysia, learner engagement
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001-6182 Business > HF5546-5548.6 Office management
Divisions: Faculty of Creative Multimedia (FCM)
Depositing User: Ms Nurul Iqtiani Ahmad
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2022 02:35
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2022 02:35


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