Towards teaching strategies addressing online learning in blended learning courses for adult-learners

Nanda van der Stap*, Theo van den Bogaart, Stan van Ginkel, Ebrahim Rahimi, Johan Versendaal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Blended learning offers a learner-centred approach that employs both in-class learning and digital technology to facilitate online learning. Such an approach is especially advantageous to adult-learners in higher education as it meets their educational needs. However, adult-learners’ participation in blended learning programmes remains challenging due to a general lack of online interaction, and no clear teaching strategies that address this concern. Literature relating to adult-learners’ educational needs and online interaction was consulted in order to design teaching strategies that foster adult-learners’ online interaction. The aim of this study is to further validate these teaching strategies, hence a multiple case study was carried out using a mixed method approach. As such, eight teachers and sixteen students from four courses across three universities in Belgium and the Netherlands were interviewed. Additionally, a questionnaire testing a pre-defined set of variables was distributed to 84 students. The results lead to a set of validated teaching strategies that help teachers to further develop their professional skills and expertise. The teaching strategies can be grouped into three categories, namely 1) the teacher's online presence, 2) collaborative learning activities and preparatory learning activities, and 3) the distribution of learning content and learning activities across online and in-class learning. An elaborate set of validated teaching strategies is included. This study aids towards teacher professional development and adds evidence-based knowledge to teaching strategies and instructional frameworks for adult-learners in higher education. Teaching/learning strategies, adult-learning, cooperative/collaborative learning, teacher professional development, online learning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105103
Number of pages17
JournalComputers and Education
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2024


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