Hameed, S., Fathulla, K. and Thomas, A. (2009) Extent of e-learning effectiveness and efficiency in an integrated blended learning environment. Newport CELT Journal.2 1758-9258 (Print) 1758-9266 (Online).
Technology-enhanced learning or Computer Aided Learning (E-Learning) can be institutionally integrated and supported by learning management systems or Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) to offer efficiency gains, improvements in effectiveness and scalability of the E-Learning paradigms. The aim of this study was to investigate the relative effectiveness of the application of a pure E-learning approach compared to the application of a blended learning delivery approach to subject delivery. The blended learning approach constituted a managed mix of E-Learning methods, traditional instructor led methods and other blended learning methods. The evaluation framework criteria (i.e. process improvement, quality of experience and physical and/or virtual participation), as applied to the empirical results, concluded that Blended Learning which is augmented with Social Networking, Co-learning and Knowledge Co-Creation Support systems shows the highest potential for adding value to the learning experience when compared to E-Learning only methods of subject delivery. The study will provide a comparison between purist E-Learning and Blended learning environment. The paper also provides directions for the blended learning environment which can be used by all the three main stakeholders (student, tutors and institution) to make strategic decisions about the learning and teaching initiatives. The paper concludes that blended learning approaches offer the most flexible and scalable route to E-Learning.