Outcomes Students' Experiences of Blended Learning Research


Grampians Region is undertaking the folllowing project during 2011 into students’ experiences of blended learning in Grampians Virtual School (GVS). This project is being led by Gary Schultz and research partner Tamara Downey, The Thinking Tree.
The research project chiefly involves the replication of a New Zealand study[1] in order to answer two key questions: What do we want blended learning to be like? What is it like now? It is envisaged that the student voice captured in the first phase of a research project will directly inform later research into school-level provision and the whole school context for e-learning.


We know from preliminary research into the evolution of the Grampians Virtual School (GVS),[2] that blended learning has the potential to be quite different from conventional learning and that the GVS model of blended learning appears to be meeting rural students’ needs effectively. However, we don’t know enough about:
  • how teachers and students are operating in this new environment
  • to what extent virtual, blended provision is just a different way of doing the same things – using ICT in ways that reinscribe traditional teaching and learning approaches – rather than an exploration of new and different ways of learning
  • what schools can do to support these new ways of teaching and learning.
It is proposed that the New Zealand research be replicated (and ultimately extended) by Grampians Virtual School for the purposes of:
  • informing the development of teaching and learning approaches that best support student engagement and learning.
  • informing the provision of professional learning beyond GVS and
  • aligning schooling with the intentions of the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians.

Outcomes from the research will fuel the content focus of a proposd two day conference to be announced within the Grampians Region in December looking at specifically the needs of teachers to further develop skills and abilities in asynchronous and synchronous delivery in a blended model.

[1]Bolstad, R. and Lin, M. (2009) Students’ experiences of learning in virtual classrooms. See http://www.nzcer.org.nz/pdfs/students-experiences-learning-virtual-classrooms.pdf
[2] See http://grampiansvirtualschool.wikispaces.com/Blended+Learning+Report

Download the completed report Here

Delivering VCE through GVS Research Project Report.pdf