Original Research

Perceptions of undergraduates on the relationship between exposure to blended learning and online critical literacy skills

Titi J. Fola-Adebayo
Reading & Writing | Vol 10, No 1 | a200 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v10i1.200 | © 2019 Titi J. Fola-Adebayo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 March 2018 | Published: 30 October 2019

About the author(s)

Titi J. Fola-Adebayo, General Studies Unit, The Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria


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Abstract

Background: Exposure to a blended experience has the potential to heighten students’ online critical literacy skills, and prepare them to participate in the new online communities that emerge within a networked society.

Objectives: This article considered the perceptions of a cohort of third-year undergraduates of the Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, on the relationship between exposure to blended learning (BL) and the development of online critical literacy skills.

Method: A BL mode, which took the form of a face-to-face approach and the use of a virtual learning environment, was employed in teaching Critical Literacy, a component of the Developmental Reading Skills course designed for undergraduates of English as a second language. For 4 weeks, 80 students were trained to read web-based information critically and evaluate web pages in the Developmental Reading course, after which their perception of the relationship between exposure to BL and the development of online critical literacy skills was investigated. This work, for which data were obtained through focus group discussion and administration of a structured questionnaire, is grounded in both critical literacy (Janks 2013) and social constructivist theories (McInerney & McInerney 2002). Frequency distribution and Pearson correlation coefficient were employed in analysing the data collected.

Results: The results revealed that the students perceived a positive relationship between exposure to BL and the development of online critical literacy skills.

Conclusion: Many of the respondents showed a preference for the BL mode, and the benefits they derived from it include: the improvement of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills, the acquisition of more knowledge after the class, convenient time to work and ease with self-expression.


Keywords

digital literacy; meta-cognition; reading; second language reading; reflective thinking

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