Critical Evaluation of Existing Theories and Models in Blended Learning in Higher Education

Mihiri Hapuarachchi


In Sri Lanka there is a great demand for higher education that the government is finding difficult to fulfill. In addition, graduated students are lacking soft skills and industry needs even though they are very thorough with the theoretical knowledge. Higher education in various countries adopted various technologies to overcome such barriers. Blended learning is one such technology which is vastly used in developed countries in Higher Education.
This article reports on a literature review of blended learning models, frameworks, and theories. The study undertook a critical evaluation of blended learning and focused mainly of the design aspect of such models. Following a discussion of findings related to various blended learning models such as Blended Learning Assessment model, Hexagonal e-learning assessment model, time based blended learning model, 3-C model, hybrid online model, it has then outlined highly related theories to these models. Further as findings of this paper, most widely used subsystems of a blended learning programmes are given (example: learner, instructor, content, technology, learner support and institution). In addition, this paper further gives areas to be researched further, based on the dearth of research in some aspect of blended learning such as frameworks supported by education theories. Higher education systems are under permeant development. Although there are successful stories of higher education sector in Sri Lanka, perspectives of global solutions are still missing. Hence, this research intended to provide the researchers the foundation to carry out to find a suitable to blended learning approach to Sri Lanka. Also this study contributes to better understanding of blended learning, by summarizing different models, subsystems, and the research gaps in those models.
Keywords: Blended learning, Higher Education

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