Blended Learning Approach to Integrating Research Competency in Undergraduate Teacher Education Programme for Mathematics Students at Maseno University

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF10 Sub-theme: Fostering Lifelong Learning // Unemployment in Kenya relates closely to under skilling of learners arising specifically from teachers whose research potential has not been well harnessed through the present education system. In any teaching situation, the faculty’s role is to facilitate, guide, and motivate the learning process— training students to be lifelong learners and critical thinkers. Because information in the world is constantly changing, there is need to learn how to evaluate, integrate, and apply information, not simply memorizing accepted facts and theories. It is for these reasons that this study sought show how that undergraduate research skills lead to lifelong learning for teachers. This project used a quasi-experimental design (Pre-test/Post-test Design), with 3rd year Mathematics students of Maseno in the experimental cohort (Taken through an online facilitated research course but supervised face to face in both cohorts) of students and same cohort students from Kenyatta University in the control group (Taken through the face-to-face course without online follow up). The population consisted of 600 3rd year Math students, 55, 60 & 5 school of Education lecturers from Maseno, Kenyatta and Linnaeus Universities respectively. A sample of 200 students and 55 lecturers from both Kenyatta and Maseno University were drawn through the stratified random method, with stratification based on the University of each participant’s origin. Saturated sampling was applied for the Linnaeus lecturers. Data was collected through student and teacher questionnaires, online forum discussions and documentary analysis. The paired sample T-test was used to analyse the quantitative data. Preliminary findings indicated that a higher number of students who received the treatment (online support from supervisors) completed and submitted research reports (25%) as compared to only 15% from the control cohort. However, the final cumulative rating of the reports based on a qualitative scale by an independent team of researchers from Linnaeus university indicated that students who received treatment (taken through a facilitated online support area during the research course) performed much better (80% pass rate) as compared to students who did not receive the treatment (not facilitated through a taught research Course) with a 20% pass rate. These results show that training in research and creation of a community of practice in research is linked to performance in the field (Industry). Preliminary report further indicated that at least 2% of students in the facilitated research cohort are already directly benefiting from the research training received as an undergraduate. // Paper ID 8711

Blended Learning,Research,Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM),Teacher Education