Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on CALL No.3 July 2016 Pp.210-226
An Exploratory Study of Students’ Lived Experiences in a Blended-Flipped Writing Class
Afef Ahmed Gasmi
Middle East College
Al Rusayl, Muscat 124, Oman
During the past few decades blended instructional approaches have aimed to provide learners with an enhanced learning experience. Supported by a flipped approach to teaching, blended instruction provides an opportunity for an effective utilization of classroom time. This article reports the findings of a mixed-methods study which involved 57 students enrolled in Level 3 academic writing course offered as part of the General Foundation Program (GFP) in a non-public higher education institution in Oman. The purpose of the study was to explore the lived experiences of EFL (English as Foreign Language) learners in a blended flipped writing course with specific focus on their perceptions of the benefits and challenges of being instructed in this method. The study informs both EFL educators and learners, as well as other stakeholders, about this method of teaching and triggers further discussions of its potential and limitations in EFL instruction. This study utilized students’ self-report questionnaire, teacher observation, and focus group interviews as data collection methods; and value thematic qualitative data coding and descriptive quantitative data analysis as data analysis procedures. The study revealed that despite the challenges of increased workload and technology-related difficulties, participants in the blended-flipped academic writing class experienced increased involvement, development and use of deep learning strategies, and maximization of learning through constant collaboration. The study recommends that further experimental studies are conducted to explore the potential of blended-flipped instruction in teaching other English language skills and the correlation between the learners’ perceptions of this instructional model and their academic performance.
Keywords: Academic writing, blended learning, EFL teaching, flipped instruction, student involvement.