A team-teaching approach for blended learning: an experiment

24 September 2020

Blended learning is often viewed as a teaching mode that integrates a combination of online interactive activities with face-to-face learnings. This includes a mixture of different types of teaching and learning techniques, and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) tools. In this study, we undertook an experiment to ascertain what constituted a practitioner-based approach to team-teaching for blended learning. The experiment occurred during one teaching period (11 weeks) at an Australian University where the classroom teaching experience was accessed by students and teachers across different geographical locations, using ICT. During the experiment, we completed individual and collaborative reflections, utilised an online survey to elicit students’ perceptions about our team-teaching practice and critiqued the literature on blended learning. Qualitative analysis was conducted for each data source, revealing several key themes, which were: (1) skills, (2) student, team-teaching and teacher roles and (3) the role of ICT. This study explored these themes in detail, showing that when using ICT, specific communication processes build student and teachers’ confidence as well as facilitating trust between those involved in providing a blended classroom experience. This in turn, contributes to the flexible use of ICT tools, offering opportunities for teacher and students to participate in variety of class roles, interacting via online, face-to-face or blended methods. Overall we found that to assist with setting-up and facilitating teach-teaching for blended learning, it was important to provide role clarity, an agreed-to approach for classroom communications and purposeful integration of ICT for the teaching team and students when failure occurred.