Blended learning in a biology classroom: Pre‐pandemic insights for post‐pandemic instructional strategies Academic Article uri icon

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  • It is increasingly important to utilize novel approaches to improve student learning. This has become especially relevant throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous studies have shown positive outcomes of blended learning on student satisfaction. Yet, there are limited data in the field of biology on how blended learning practices correlate with overall student performance. Moreover, there is a dearth of information on student perceptions about how blended learning has impacted their education. Through this study, we present insights on the impact of blended learning in a first-year cell and molecular biology course. Using mixed-methods research, we evaluated the impact of a blended learning course format on student performance in the learning categories of knowledge and understanding, communication and application, and critical thinking and inquiry. Using a pre- vs. postintervention analysis, we show that a blended learning course model does not change students' performance on multiple-choice and short answer assessments when compared to a nonblended learning course model. Through a qualitative assessment of student perceptions and sentiments, however, the implemented blended learning approach does appear to provide significant perceived benefits, including learner flexibility, consolidation of content, and the opportunity to apply course content to the 'real world'. While we recognize that our report describes a very specific blended learning model, we believe that our findings are generalizable to similar introductory courses. As such, we are confident that our case study will provide course designers with a useful foundation to build future blended learning courses.


  • Tahir, Irtaza
  • Van Mierlo, Victoria
  • Radauskas, Victoria
  • Yeung, Wayne
  • Tracey, Alastair
  • Da Silva, Rosa

publication date

  • July 2022