A Web-enhanced Course in Foundation Program at Bahrain Teachers College: A Case Study
The purpose of a web-enhanced course in Study Skills at Bahrain Teachers College (BTC) was to reduce the time consumed in teaching, learning and assessing while dealing with large classes. Thus, the current study is a case in exploring the effectiveness of using different aspects of technology in teaching. Conceptualized by Stella Cottrell, the APT-S framework of study skills focuses on Academic skills, People’s, Task and Self-management skills, and that formed the basis of the Study Skills course. The technology engaged in this investigation consisted of BTC’s Learning Management System-Moodle, computer labs, and students’ personal mobile devices. Through the e-content on Moodle, the course incorporated technology with online activities, online quizzes, QR codes, active excel sheets and optical answer sheets. Emails and WhatsApp groups formed the medium of communication with students. A variety of online teaching strategies included video lectures, flipped class model, live Instagram session, online discussion forums, and several interactive in-class fun activities. Periodic assessments of small portions of the content and reflective learning tasks that promoted critical thinking were the other highlights of the course. The sample for the current case study comprised of 366 Foundation program students at BTC. The qualitative data was collected in the form of the students’ reflections and feedback on the open-ended questions as well as the insights from the 3 course instructors. Unstructured interviews were also conducted with 14 students. Overall, the case study concluded that the blended/online learning for Study Skills course made the teaching and learning process more efficient and ensured a larger number of online participation from students than in a normal classroom. The effectiveness in the use of technology, through a flip classroom, a live Instagram session and video lectures, was clearly evident. Due to the challenges posed by the logistics of conducting frequent assessments and recording video lectures without professional support, it is recommended that BTC should be equipped with sufficient computer labs and professional recording equipment.
Keywords: web-enhanced, study skills, online teaching strategies, foundation program, online learning
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