Developing Effective Online Resources to Encourage Student Engagement in Carpentry Theory: A case study of High School Carpentry students in a blended learning environment
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Teaching and Learning
This case study examines some key factors that influence student engagement in a blended learning environment, in particular, when using interactive online resources to learn Carpentry theory. The participants were volunteers from two parallel classes of secondary school students working toward Level 1 Building Construction and Allied Trade Skills Certificate designed for secondary schools by the Building Construction Industry Training Organisation. The participant researcher was also the teacher for both classes. Data in this case study was collected by observation, reflective journal writing, student records, group discussion and analysis of student course results. It showed that the students responded positively to the blended classroom environment and the interactive online resources developed by the researcher for this study. The blended learning environment in the classroom increased student participation, aided classroom management, and more than halved the time needed for both classes to finish the Instrumental Drawing Unit Standard 7502 while the interactive online resources enhanced student engagement and achievement in other areas of their theory. Students responded positively to the automated formative feedback and were encouraged by knowing their results instantly; working to gain top results and correct answers rather than just completing an activity by filling in the blanks. A competitive element was introduced by integrating a timer into the resources. Challenges encountered included limited access to computers and the necessity for students to share computers, a network failure which made the online resources unavailable for an extended period, and storage problems for the online resources to allow them to be accessed from the online learning environment at school and at home. This study concluded that technology can enable teachers to enhance their teaching and enrich the student learning environment through the introduction of a variety of media. Students still depended on face-to-face teacher input but, in the blended classroom environment and the online environment, the role of the teacher changed noticeably to a role of facilitator.