The Perception of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Language Learners about Blended Learning in Higher Education

Seyyed Ali Hosseini, Nasrin Shokrpour


The increasingly tighter impact of socio-economic and spatial constraints on higher education sectors in the recent years has necessitated innovations in education. Blended learning, as an innovative instructional approach, which combines several online and face-to-face delivery strategies, is a good alternative used to compensate for the socio-economic and spatial pressures at higher education. The practice of blended learning, however, has sometimes been associated with failure and poor educational outcomes. A pitfall which has repeatedly hindered the full operationalisation of blended learning courses is unfamiliarity with the perceptions of the students/learners in the target context. The present study, thus, employed a mixed-method design to investigate the perceptions of ESP (English for specific purposes) language learners about blended learning in higher education. To this end, pre- and post-blended learning perception questionnaires were sent to 100 male and female ESP language learners. Pre- and post-blended learning semi-structured interviews were also conducted. Subsequently, the obtained data were analysed using descriptive statistics, t-test, and factor analysis. The interviews were analysed by the MAXQDA software, and the underlying themes were identified. The findings showed that the students had a better perception of blended learning after enrolment in such courses. Further investigations revealed significant differences between the students’ perception prior to and after participation in the blended learning course. Moreover, 'Infrastructure & equipment', 'Learning content', and 'Potentials of blended learning' were identified as the factors underlying the students’ perception about blended learning. Familiarity with the students' perceptions about blended learning can be of great help to educational planners, curriculum developers, and teachers in that it can prevent the potential failure and poor educational outcomes by pointing out the appropriateness or otherwise of conducting a blended learning course in the intended context. Awareness about the factors which have shaped the students’ perception about blended learning can also help eliminate some of the barriers to the full operationalization of blended learning courses.  


Blended Learning; ESP; Higher Education

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