Effects of a blended learning approach on student outcomes in a graduate-level public health course

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Abstract

Background: Blended learning approaches, in which in-person and online course components are combined in a single course, are rapidly increasing in health sciences education. Evidence for the relative effectiveness of blended learning versus more traditional course approaches is mixed. Method. The impact of a blended learning approach on student learning in a graduate-level public health course was examined using a quasi-experimental, non-equivalent control group design. Exam scores and course point total data from a baseline, "traditional" approach semester (n = 28) was compared to that from a semester utilizing a blended learning approach (n = 38). In addition, student evaluations of the blended learning approach were evaluated. Results: There was a statistically significant increase in student performance under the blended learning approach (final course point total d = 0.57; a medium effect size), even after accounting for previous academic performance. Moreover, student evaluations of the blended approach were very positive and the majority of students (83%) preferred the blended learning approach. Conclusions: Blended learning approaches may be an effective means of optimizing student learning and improving student performance in health sciences courses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number47
JournalBMC Medical Education
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 11 2014

Keywords

  • Blended learning
  • Flipped classroom
  • Graduate education in public health
  • Online education
  • Student learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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