Blended learning in higher education: trends and capabilities
Castro, R. (2019). Blended learning in higher education: Trends and capabilities. Education and Information Technologies, 24(4), 2523-2546. doi:10.1007/s10639-019-09886-3.
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Education is a complex system that requires multiple perspectives and levels of analysis to understand its contexts, dynamics, and actors’ interactions, particularly concerning technological innovations. This paper aims to identify some of the most promising trends in blended learning implementations in higher education, the capabilities provided by the technology (e.g., datafication), and the contexts of use of these capabilities. This literature review selected and analyzed forty-five peer-reviewed journal articles. The findings highlight some common capabilities among digital educational technologies. In particular, digital tools or platforms with human-to-machine interaction capabilities may enhance automated processes for blended learning delivery modes. In this context, digital technologies such as video capsules and intelligent tutoring systems may improve learning-teaching activities. First, by providing access to more students and facilitating self-paced online learning activities. Second, by offering an individual path of learning for each student, thus improving out-of-class activities and feedback. Educational technology capabilities (ETC) provide complementary insights to identify the best approach when aligning learning goals in technology-based implementations. Further research will be required to empirically validate these results.
Keywords: Blended learning, capabilities, conceptual paper, digital educational technology, higher education, trends.