Finding the Right Blend of Technologically Enhanced Learning Environments: Randomized Controlled Study of the Effect of Instructional Sequences on Interprofessional Learning
Background: With the availability and capabilities of varied technologically enhanced learning activities, the blended learning approach has become increasingly popular in interprofessional education. The combined use of different technologically enhanced learning activities has not been fully examined, particularly to determine the effects of instructional sequences for effective learning outcomes.
Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate whether the instructional sequences of a blended learning approach can improve students’ learning outcomes on interprofessional competencies.
Methods: A randomized controlled study was conducted with 40 interprofessional health care teams. These teams undertook three technologically enhanced learning activities—Web-based instruction (WI), virtual reality (VR), and simulation exercise (SE)—after random assignment to three groups based on three different instructional sequences (WI-VR-SE, WI-SE-VR, and SE-WI-VR). Pretests and posttests were conducted to evaluate the students’ learning outcomes on interprofessional competencies.
Results: A total of 198 participants from the three groups completed the questionnaires. All three groups reported significant improvement in their levels of self-efficacy (P<.05) and attitudes (P<.001) toward interprofessional team care about 1 month after the interprofessional learning activity. Although no significant difference was found (P=.06) between the WI-VR-SE and WI-SE-VR groups in the self-efficacy posttests, participants in the SE-WI-VR group reported significantly lower (P<.05) posttest scores than those in the WI-SE-VR group. The majority of the participants (137/198, 69.1%) selected the instructional sequence “WI-VR-SE” as their top preference.
Conclusions: This study shows that the instructional sequence of a blended learning approach can have a significant impact on students’ learning outcomes. The learning of concepts from WI followed by problem-solving activity in the SE was found to be a more effective learning sequence than the reverse sequence. We recommend that future studies focus on scaffolding students’ learning when planning instructional sequences for technologically enhanced learning activities within blended learning environments.
Journal/Conference/Book titleJournal of Medical Internet Research