The incorporation of hands-on tasks in an online course: an analysis of a blended learning environment

Chandler, Thomas E.; Park, Yoon Soo; Levin, Karen; Morse, Stephen S.

This article describes the design and evaluation of a blended online/face-to-face course completed by more than 6000 learners throughout the United States of America and internationally. The educational impact was monitored using a variety of evaluation strategies. The results, in terms of achieved knowledge and overall satisfaction, indicate that a focus on online instruction combined with face-to-face, hands-on activities showed statistically significant improvement in the learners' understanding of the course material, while also validating the impact of the curriculum in their workplace. As illustrated through the blended course design, this study further showed that online learners with greater improvement in their pre- and posttest scores also exhibited significantly greater likelihood in demonstrating competency in several areas during the hands-on portion of the course. In particular, participants working in the information systems field exhibited the highest mean difference score (21.49) on the pre- and the posttests, while those working in the laboratory had the lowest (12.17). Likewise, the odds that participants who reviewed the course contents sought to further understand their job roles was 58.2 times greater for those in information systems, while it was only 19.0 times greater for laboratory staff, than those who did not review their job roles.


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Interactive Learning Environments

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Academic Units
National Center for Disaster Preparedness
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May 13, 2013