Student Attitudes Toward Blended Learning in Adult Literacy and Basic Skills College Programs | Attitudes des étudiants envers l’apprentissage mixte dans les programmes collégiaux de formation de base et alphabétisation pour adultes


  • Jia Li University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  • Robin Kay University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  • Louise Markovich St. Clair College, Chatham, Ontario



Adult learners’ perception, College literacy programs, Online and blended learning environments, Face-to-face instruction, Individual differences


Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) programs in many Ontario colleges offer adult learners who have low literacy and basic skills with opportunities to improve their employment skills as well as results on prerequisite courses for entrance into post-secondary education. LBS students encounter many challenges and require extra interpersonal instructional support, which may be overcome through a blended learning approach. Due to limited access to technology in LBS programs, little is known about adult learners’ attitudes toward online learning. This study investigates learners’ attitudes and perceived success in blended learning, and key factors contributing to individual differences. A survey was administered to 149 LBS student participants at three Ontario community colleges, along with interviews conducted with 37 students. The results of correlation and thematic analysis have shown that differences exist in their attitudes between face-to-face and online learning environments, 90% versus 40% positive respectively. Individual differences in their perceptions were found to be associated with their age, time out of formal education, education levels, and computer skills.

Les programmes de formation de base et alphabétisation (« FBA ») de nombreux collèges de l’Ontario offrent aux apprenants adultes dont la formation de base et la littératie sont faibles des occasions d’améliorer leur employabilité ainsi que leurs résultats aux cours prérequis pour l’admission aux études postsecondaires. Les étudiants en FBA font face à de nombreux défis et ont besoin de plus de soutien didactique interpersonnel, ce qui peut être surmonté par une approche d’apprentissage mixte. À cause de l’accès limité à la technologie dans les programmes de FBA, on en sait peu sur les attitudes des apprenants adultes quant à l’apprentissage en ligne. Cette étude se penche sur les attitudes des apprenants et sur la perception de la réussite en apprentissage mixte, ainsi que sur les principaux facteurs qui contribuent aux différences individuelles. Cent quarante-neuf étudiants en FBA de trois collèges communautaires en Ontario ont répondu à un sondage, et des entrevues ont été réalisées avec 37 étudiants. Les résultats de l’analyse de corrélation et de l’analyse thématique ont démontré qu’il existe des différences dans leurs attitudes relatives aux environnements d’apprentissage en personne et en ligne, qui sont positives respectivement à 90 % et 40 %. Nous avons relevé que les différences individuelles de perception étaient associées à l’âge, à la durée passée hors de l’éducation formelle, au niveau d’éducation et aux compétences informatiques.

Author Biographies

Jia Li, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Jia Li is an Assistant Professor, the Faculty of Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Canada. She was a Canada-U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts, US. and also received an international postdoctoral fellowship award at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Li completed her masters and doctoral studies at Ontario Institute for Studies of Education, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her research has focused on technology-enhanced language and literacy instruction, in particular data-driven innovative interventions, for diverse learners. Li has published broadly in the area of computers assisted language and literacy education.


Robin Kay, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Robin Kay is a Full Professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Canada. He has published over 120 articles, chapters and conference papers in the area of computers in education, is a reviewer for five prominent computer education journals, and has taught computer science, mathematics, and educational technology for over 20 years at the high school, college, undergraduate and graduate level. Current projects include research on laptop use in higher education, BYOD in K-12 education, web-based learning tools, classroom response systems, e-learning in secondary and higher education, video podcasts, scale development with respect to computer attitude, use, and behaviour, gender differences in computer related behaviour, emotions and the use of computers, the impact of social media tools in education, and factors that influence how students learn with technology.

Louise Markovich, St. Clair College, Chatham, Ontario

Louise Markovich received her Masters of Arts degree at the Faculty of Education, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Canada. She taught adult literacy programs at college level for over eight years. She currently is an instructor and an Entrance Program Coordinator at St. Clair College, Chatham, Ontario, Canada. Her teaching and research interest focuses on adult literacy program development and online and hybrid learning environments


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