Teaching and Instructional Design Approaches to Enhance Students’ Self‑Directed Learning in Blended Learning Environments


  • Dina Adinda
  • Najoua Mohib




Blended learning, teaching approaches, instructional design, self-directed learning, undergraduate students, online discussion forum


Thanks to the combination of face‑to‑face and online learning which involve the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), blended learning has become a popular approach to support learning in higher education. The main purpose of this study is to identify the teaching and instructional design approaches adopted by lecturers within blended learning environments, and to analyse their effects on students’ self‑directed learning. The sample involves 18 lecturers and their undergraduate students (n= 294) undertaking a blended course in one French university. This research utilised a mixed method approach for data collection, including questionnaires and observations. Firstly, lecturers were invited to declare their teaching approaches and the configuration of their blended learning environments by completing two online questionnaires. Secondly, both face‑to‑face and online observations were conducted with the lecturers to identify the specificity of their instructional design activities. A pre‑post questionnaire was also used to measure students’ self‑directed learning level. Data collection took place over a period of 6 months during the academic year 2017‑2018. The results show that lecturers who adopt student‑centred teaching approaches are not necessarily designing their blended learning courses as a student‑centred learning environment. Also, the results reveal that students' self‑directed learning is significantly developed only in three out of seven student‑centred blended learning courses. Additionally, the results show that lecturers of the students who improved their self‑directed level provided online peer review and online forum discussion activities. The findings indicate that further research is needed both to validate the direct relationship between these kinds of pedagogical activities and the self‑directed learning, and to determine how blended learning environments can better support collaboration and interaction.



1 Feb 2020