A review of the role of information communication technology and course design in transitional education practices

Rienties, Bart; Kaper, Wolter; Struyven, Katrien; Tempelaar, Dirk; van Gastel, Leendert; Vrancken, Sanne; Jasińska, Magdalena and Virgailaitė-Mečkauskaitė, Eglė (2012). A review of the role of information communication technology and course design in transitional education practices. Interactive Learning Environments, 20(6) pp. 563–581.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820.2010.542757

URL: http://dx.doi.org/


An increasing number of higher educational institutes are offering remedial, bridging, preparatory or transitional courses in a blended and online format to remediate and enhance students' knowledge and skills. This article addresses how teachers and institutes design and implement these courses. The descriptions of transitional courses were collected by means of an online questionnaire and results were stored in a searchable online database. In the questionnaire consisting of 38 closed- and open-ended questions, teachers had to indicate their content, context, organisation, pedagogical approach, assessment method and information communication technology (ICT) use. During February–May 2009, 118 course descriptions and implementations were collected. These 118 course descriptions were analysed with the aim of describing their main educational scenarios using multiple correspondence analysis and two-step clustering analysis. The results indicate that courses can be explained by five dimensions: (1) ICT; (2) Mathematics versus language; (3) Lower versus higher Bloom levels; (4) Gamma sciences versus others; (5) Very small group size versus others. Afterwards, the courses were positioned into six distinctive clusters. An important finding of this study is that teachers seem to design and implement fairly similar course designs when content, context and pedagogical approach are given. Furthermore, teachers' choices about ICT use are not yet systematically and consensually linked to content and pedagogical choices.

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