Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Monica W. Tracey


The purpose of this multiple case design-based research study was to determine what elements were needed to assist two higher education instructors inexperienced in designing and teaching a blended learning course to successfully create and implement it, to document the instructors’ perceptions about their first experience of teaching a blended learning course, and to reveal how this blended learning course influenced student satisfaction. The goal of the study was to iteratively design, develop, implement, evaluate and redesign a desired blended learning course based on constructivist design theory, cognitive learning theory, and ARCS motivational design theory over the three iterative phases.

This design-based research approach used a mixed study of quantitative and qualitative research methods including student surveys, instructor interviews, learning environment and observations. Quantitative data in terms of determining any change in the level of students’ motivation between the beginning of the semester and the end of the semester, and students’ motivational attitude toward the use of instructional activities and tools at the fifth and tenth week of the semester was collected. Multiple choice comprehensive pretest and posttest surveys were given to students to detect changes in their motivation level, and a multiple choice comprehensive survey was given to students to detect their motivational attitude. Qualitative data in terms of identifying the need of appropriate technological processes and resources to create a desired blended learning course, enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the blended learning course, and revealing instructor perceptions about teaching a blended learning course was collected over the three iterative designed intervention phases. Instructor perceptions were captured through in-depth interviews, and the strengths and weaknesses of the blended learning environment were ascertained through observations.

The results of this study demonstrated Blackboard Learn (Learning Management System) and Google Documents were two beneficial learning resources to create a desired blended learning environment. The design and implementation of these learning resources enabled the instructors to shift from a passive teaching style to an active teaching style. Students became active and interactive learners through the adoption of active learning approaches and transactional collaborative learning approaches in the designed blended learning environments. Through the process of three iterative design cycles, the blended learning environments were modified to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of learning activities and maximize the quality of learning and teaching experiences. The results also revealed that the instructors’ overall perception was positive toward taking part in combining online and face-to-face learning and they were satisfied with teaching a blended learning course. Lastly, findings from the paired t-test completed in SPSS which compared the students’ motivation level in the beginning of the semester and the end of the semester were not statistically significant in both cases.