School is out: Students' experiences of non-traditional learning

Funding year: 
0 years
University of Otago
School sector
Project start date: 
February 2010
Project end date: 
January 2011
Principal investigator(s): 
Dr. Keryn Pratt
Research team members: 
Dr Ken Pullar and Ann Trewern
Research partners: 
John Buchanan, Dunstan High School;Lyn Cooper, Wakatipu High School;Linda Miller, Fiordland College; Lynda Walsh-Pasco, Roxburgh Area School; Andrea Robertson, University of Otago College of Education

Project Description

The experience of New Zealand school students is increasingly changing. In addition to their traditional schools students are participating in virtual classrooms and other forms of learning, such as classes through the Correspondence School and vocational programmes. This study aims to extend previous research by looking at the experience of students in one regional cluster of schools who are taking classes in multiple formats, from multiple providers, described here as “blended learning”.

The major implications of the key finding in our summary report are:

  • The large number of students involved in blended learning highlights the need for schools to understand how to  support these students effectively.
  •  The amount and kind of school support students received varied, and appeared to be crucial to their perceptions of blended learning.
  • The support received while undertaking blended learning classes appeared to influence the effect of the classes on students’ development of learning and study skills

Project Contact

Dr Keryn Pratt
Senior Lecturer
University of Otago, College of Education