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New Horizons in Education. Vol. 60, No.2, October 2012


Developing the OBTL Curriculum with Blended Learning to Enhance
Student Learning Effectiveness in the Undergraduate ECE Program
Chi-hung LEUNG
Hong Kong Institute of Education
Abstract
Background: The project included continuous assessment, group presentation, self-learning, and individual assignment to
assess students learning outcomes. A self-learning system was set up as e-learning for students to monitor their learning progress
during the semester, including two online exercises and a checklist of learning outcomes. The presentation was assessed by self-
evaluation, peer evaluation, and lecturer evaluation.
Aims: The study aimed to develop an OBTL curriculum in early childhood education (ECE) to demonstrate exemplary cases
of effective teaching and learning in the undergraduate ECE program.
Method: An action research, dual-scaling analysis, and focus group interviews were conducted to reveal students learning
effectiveness in the study. Seventy-eight Year 3 full-time BEd (ECE) pre-service students (75 females, three males) and 92 Year
1 full-time (all female) BEd (ECE) students were invited to participate in the study. The CLEI (College Learning Effectiveness
Inventory) was used to measure student learning effectiveness during the study.
Results: The results indicated that the more learning outcomes students achieved, the higher the scores in academic
performance achieved.
Conclusion: This implies that clear and well-stated learning outcomes can help students learn better. As regards learning
effectiveness, students academic self-effcacy was signifcantly improved by the end of the two courses. Students showed higher-
order cognitive ability to refect on past experiences and make personal choices based on management of time, goal, and priority
setting.
Keywords: OBTL curriculum; ECE program; blended learning


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Chi-hung LEUNG
Introduction
Outcome-based teaching and learning (OBTL)
is concerned with curriculum design and insuring
that contents, delivery, activities and assessments are
all aligned to help students to attain those intended
learning outcomes (Willis & Kissane, 1995; Towers,
1996).
Outcome-based education has been widely
accepted as a model for restructuring education in
many countries, such as Australia (Killen, 2000), New
Zealand (Sundar, 1999), the UK (Ross & Davies,
1999), the USA (Manno, 1995; Harden, Crosby &
Davis, 1999), South Africa (Botha, 2002), and Hong
Kong Special Administrative Region (China) (Ewell,
2006), etc. Furthermore, outcome-based curriculum
planning has been increasingly used in many
subjects, including medical sciences (Harden et al.,
1999; Davenport, Davey & Ker, 2005), information
technology (Lorenzen, 1999), engineering (Dodridge
& Kassinopoulos, 2003), business (Wee, 2003), etc.
OBTL concentrates more on the learning process,
which may improve both the students and the
teachers perception of teaching and learning. Biggs
and Moore (1993, p73) defne the learning approach
as a consistent way of going about a particular task,
or learning/study. Biggs (1987) divides learning
approaches into three categories: surface approach,
deep approach and achieving approach. The surface
approach is accompanied by rote learning without
critical and reflective thinking about what is taught.
The deep approach is associated with attainment of
personal meaning and reconstruction of knowledge.
Achieving approaches (either deep or surface) are
practiced to attain the highest grades in a particular
circumstance. Some researchers have studied the
relationship between learning approaches and other
areas, such as academic outcomes (David, Gerard,
Filip, & Piet, 2005), assessment methods (Smith,
& Miller, 2005), or students in different disciplines
(Skogsberg, & Cl ump, 2003). For i nst ance,
Skogsberg and Clump found that students learning
approaches are discipline-related. Students studying
science were more likely to adopt a surface learning
approach than students studying art, whereas students
studying psychology were more likely to adopt
deep learning approaches, and business students
mainly demonstrated the surface learning approach.
Psychology students generally used a deep approach
and biology students a surface approach.
Outcome-based Education in Hong Kong
There has been a recent increase in international
interest in student learning outcomes. The University
Grants Committee (UGC), a non-statutory advisory
committee responsible for advising the government
of the Special Administration Region (SAR) of the
Peoples Republic of China on development and
funding needs of higher education institutions in the
SAR, believes that placing an emphasis on learning
outcomes helps institutions to focus their education
effort on achieving their goals, leading to better
teaching and learning. The launch of OBTL will meet
two future challenges, (a) fostering progress towards
four-year degrees and (b) enhancing international
competitiveness.
To foster progress in the revised four-year
degrees, the feasibility of curriculum design with
an extra year of undergraduate study can promote
st udent generi c ski l l s and whol e person
development. Explicit student learning outcomes
help both teachers and students achieve the above
goals.
Explicit learning outcomes themselves can
clearly address a common set of generic competencies
53
Developing the OBTL Curriculum with Blended Learning to Enhance Student Learning Effectiveness in the Undergraduate ECE Program
that include high levels of problem-solving, critical
thinking, ethical decision-making, and professional
communication and social interaction skills.
Demonstrating the above competencies as defined
in learning outcome terms, is becoming increasingly
important in the global higher education market-place.
HKIEDs Experience of OBTL
The Hong Kong Institute of Education has
embarked on a journey to review its approaches to
teaching and learning. We have taken advantage of
the University Grants Committees outcome-based
education initiative to do this. In the first instance,
we have termed the initiative in the HKIED context
Outcome-based Learning (OBL) because we want
the focus to be on student learning (Kennedy, 2011).
In the past few years, teaching, learning and
assessment strategies have been developed to
facilitate OBL implementation through pilot studies.
Future plans for OBL will focus efforts on assessment
and the weaving of OBL into the whole curriculum of
the fve-year BEd programs as well as the four-year
general degree programs (Lee, 2011).
The HKIED prepares students to become caring
and committed education professionals with positive
dispositions, sound academic knowledge and the
professional competence to meet future challenges.
Our graduates are expected to possess the 4Cs, i.e.
Character, Competence as professional, Cultivation
of wisdom and intellect, and Citizenship, with
seven generic skills, i.e. problem-solving, critical
and reflective thinking, creative and innovative
thinking, ethical understanding and decision-making,
communication skills, social interaction skills, and
global perspective and multi-cultural competence
(HKIED, 2011).
Blended Learning in OBL
There are inherent benefits in face-to-face
interaction (both among learners and between learner
and instructor) as well as inherent advantages in using
online methods in teaching. Thus the aim of using
blended learning approaches is to fnd a harmonious
balance between online access to knowledge and
face-to-face human interaction (Osguthorpe &
Graham, 2003). Therefore, an effective use of blended
learning in the classroom means learning how to
integrate face-to-face classroom teaching and online
technology to enhance student learning. It is believed
that the OBL curriculum and blended learning can
promote teaching and learning effectiveness.
The advantages of OBTL have been agreed by
many researchers, as the curriculum guides clearly
what is taught and what is assessed (Harden et al.,
1999). When teaching contributes greatly to the
learning outcomes, this may relate teaching directly
to the field of practice, and contribute to other
learning outcomes such as students communication
skills and team collaboration (Abrams, 1995; Brown,
1988). The results of OBTL are assessed in terms
of the academic results of students (Botha, 2002;
Davidson, 2002), but its impact on learning activities,
especially students learning approach and learning
effectiveness, has not received much attention.
Students learning activities, however, are always
designed by teachers under the principles of OBTL.
Students may also adjust their learning approaches
and learning effectiveness in the OBTL system.
Thus, understanding the impact of OBTL on learning
approaches and learning effectiveness offers a better
understanding of the value of OBTL.
The present study aims to develop an OBTL
curriculum in two courses, Research in Childhood
and Development of Early Childhood Education,
54
Chi-hung LEUNG
of Early Childhood Education (ECE) to demonstrate
exemplary cases of effective teaching and learning in
the undergraduate ECE program. The objectives are:
I 1. mproving the quality of teaching and learning
- best practice is to assess the teaching and
learning outcomes in a valid and reliable
way using different assessment methods,
including online exercises, group presentation,
discussion forum, and multi-evaluation (i.e.
self- and teacher evaluation).
Promoting students self-regulated behavior - 2.
different assessment methods involve students
with higher-order cognitive ability in refecting
on past experiences and present external
demands, making personal choices based on
management of time, goal, and priority setting,
and then handling the resulting consequences.
I mpr ovi ng t he c ont e nt a nd f or m of 3.
assessments of the modules - different
assessment templates will be developed for
online exercises, self-evaluation, and teacher
evaluation. The newly developed assessment
templates for different assessments are better
than the single traditional assessment (e.g.
individual assignment) at assessing students
learning outcomes.
Utilizing blended learning in the enhancement 4.
of teaching and learning in two courses -
to improve student learning and thereby
increase flexibility in terms of how, when
and where students study. The project will
also apply technology in peer and self-
assessment methodologies, thereby enabling
additional enrichment of self-directed learning
approaches.
OBL impacts on learning approaches - how 5.
outcome-based teaching and learning impacts
on the learning approaches of the full time
undergraduate ECE students.
There are four measures of the study to
evaluate the above objectives. First, the ongoing
self-evaluation of chapter learning outcomes was
uploaded onto the e-learning system in order to
explore students self-regulated behavior and quality
of teaching and learning; students were then asked to
evaluate themselves how many objectives they had
achieved before each quiz. A correlational study was
undertaken to understand the relationship between the
number of the achieved learning outcomes and the
quiz result. Second, a pre-post study was conducted
to understand students learning effectiveness on the
above two courses. Students learning effectiveness
was evaluated in three areas: academic self-effcacy
(ASE), organization and attention to study (OAS),
and class communication (CC). Third, students were
also asked to rank the importance of the items in these
three areas in the middle of the semester in order to
facilitate dual scaling for the analysis of categorical
data. The result of dual scaling could reflect what
factors affecting their learning effectiveness during
the courses. Finally, the focus group interviews could
give us a summary of what they have really learned
with that matched the course learning outcomes in the
courses.
Method
Sample
Seventy-eight Year 3 BEd (ECE) full-time
students, 75 females and three males, in the module
Research in Childhood in Study 1 (Semester
2, 2009/10), and 92 Year 1 BEd (ECE) full-time
students, all females, in the module Development
of Early Childhood Education in Study 2 (Semester
1, 2010/11), were invited to participate in the study.
Ethical approval for the study was granted by the
institutes ethics committee.
55
Developing the OBTL Curriculum with Blended Learning to Enhance Student Learning Effectiveness in the Undergraduate ECE Program
Instruments
Chapter learning outcomes checklist (CLOC)
- chapter learning outcomes checklists were set and
uploaded onto the e-learning system. Students were
then asked to evaluate how many learning outcomes
of each chapter they had achieved. The use of CLOC
was intended to provide ongoing feedback to teachers
to monitor their teaching effectiveness in class.
Student self-regulated learning behavior was assessed
by self-evaluation of CLOC.
College learning effectiveness inventory
(CLEI) - CLEI is an inventory devised by a group
of researchers in Kansas University (Newton et al.,
2008). It comprises six scales and 50 questions for
measuring the factors that impact on student learning.
The six scales comprise academic self-efficacy
(ASE), organization and attention to study (OAS),
stress and time press (STP), involvement with college
activity (ICA), emotional satisfaction (ES), and class
communication (CC). This inventory approach was
modified by Russell and Petrie (1992), who stated
that student learning was probably influenced by
academic, personal, social and environmental factors.
Participants rate their learning approach and attitude
on a fve-point scale, from 1 (Never) to 5 (Always).
Only academic self-effcacy (ASE), organization and
attention to study (OAS), and class communication
(CC) were selected to measure student expectation
of success, time management and goal planning, and
verbal and nonverbal efforts in class activity in the
present study.
Academic self-effcacy (ASE) scale.
Thi s scal e ser ves t o measur e st udent s
expectation of success, effort made in the school
setting and academic ability. High scores reflect
high anticipation of goal achievement and outcome,
whereas low scores indicate high concern about
future achievement. The reliability of this scale was
found to be 0.87 in the present study.
Organization and attention to study (OAS)
scale.
This measures students organization of tasks,
time management and goal planning. High scores
refect effective planning whereas low scores refect
lack of attention and avoidance of goal planning. The
reliability of this scale was 0.81 in the study.
Class communication (CC) scale.
This measures both verbal and nonverbal
efforts to engage in class activity. High scores refect
good involvement in class activity, whereas low
scores refect reluctance to join in class activity. The
reliability of this scale was 0.68.
Design and Procedure
Study 1 (Semester 2, 2009-2010) Jan. to Apr.
2010 (Course: Research in Childhood)
Seventy-eight Year 3 BEd (ECE) full-time
students were asked to complete the online chapter
learning outcomes checklist in e-learning after class.
Teachers would then receive the feedback from
the e-learning after class to see how many chapter
learning outcomes had been achieved. Teachers
revisited the learning outcomes that had not been
achieved in the last class. Students had to take an
in-class quiz in week 9 and two online exercises in
week 3 and week 6 respectively. The design of online
exercises and the in-class quiz was aligned with the
chapter learning outcomes. The CLEI was distributed
to the students to complete in the first and the last
class to assess learning effectiveness. The rank-order
version of CLEI was given to students to rank the
importance of items (1 = most important and 3 =
least important) on three subscales: academic self-
efficacy (ASE), organization and attention to study
56
Chi-hung LEUNG
(OAS), and class communication (CC). Finally,
eight students were invited to attend a focus group
interview to provide more in-depth information
on learning effectiveness in the OBL formatted
module of Research in Childhood at the end of the
semester.
Study 2 (Semester 1, 2010-2011) Sept. to
Nov. 2010 (Course: Development of Early
Childhood Education)
Ninety-two Year 1 BEd (ECE) full-time students
were recruited to repeat the same procedures as for
Study 1, except that they were required to take two
online quizzes instead of two online exercises.
Data Analysis
Pearson correlation was used to examine the
relationship between number of learning outcomes
achieved and quiz scores. Repeated measure (paired-
sample t-test) was employed to evaluate the learning
effectiveness between the frst class and the last class.
Dual scaling analysis was adopted to show the
importance of the items in three subscales: academic
self-efficacy (ASE), organization and attention to
study (OAS), and class communication (CC). The
data were analyzed with dual scaling (Nishisato,
1980, 1994), which is sometimes referred to as
correspondence analysis (Greenacre, 1984). The
result allows us to explore the structure of categorical
or ordinal variables included in the scale. The two-
way frequency cross-tabulation table was used to
show the rank-order relationship among the items in
the three subscales in the present study. It can also be
used as an alternative to factor analysis. The variables
are grouped together in terms of derived weights.
Nvivo 8 was employed to organize, classify,
and analyze the qualitative data of two focus group
interviews. Charts were generated by Nvivo 8 to
report the summary of student views of what they
learned from the courses.
Results
Normality of the Data
Data screening is strongly recommended to test
the normality of data distribution especially when
the sample size is less than 100 (George & Mallery,
2003). Skewness and kurtosis were used to examine
the normality of the data; all of the data ranged from
-0.45 to 0.62 in Study 1 and -0.34 to 0.71 in Study 2.
The data were considered to be normally distributed,
given that some statisticians suggest a threshold of 1
as indicative of a departure from normality (George
& Mallery, 2003; Morgan, Griego, & Gloeckner,
2001).
Learning Outcomes and Academic Achievement
A correlation analysis was employed to test the
relationship between the number of learning outcomes
achieved and quiz scores. The result indicated that
there were signifcant positive relationships between
the number of learning outcomes achieved and the
quiz scores, with Study 1 r = 0.44, p < .05, and Study
2 r = 0.53, p <.01 (see Table 1).
Table 1
Relationship Between Learning Outcomes Achieved and Quiz Scores in Two Studies
Quiz scores
Study 1 (n=78) Study 2 (n=92)
Learning outcomes achieved 0.44* 0.53**
Note. * p < .05 ** p <.01
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Developing the OBTL Curriculum with Blended Learning to Enhance Student Learning Effectiveness in the Undergraduate ECE Program
Learning Effectiveness and OBL with Blended
Learning
This is a one-group pre-post experimental
design. A repeated measure using paired-sample
t-test was used to examine whether student learning
effectiveness was infuenced by the OBL curriculum
with blended learning design. For Study 1, the
estimation results indicated that there was a signifcant
effect on two of the CLEI subscales, except for class
communication (CC). The two subscales were t
ASE
=
Table 2
Learning Effectiveness in Two Studies
Study 1 Study 2
df M SD t df M SD t
Academic self-effcacy 76 90
First class 2.92 0.26 5.22** 3.62 0.32 2.43**
Last class 3.28 0.28 3.72 0.28
Organization & Attention 76 90
First class 3.03 0.25 -4.32** 3.47 0.30 -2.82**
Last class 2.68 0.20 3.31 0.29
Class communication 76 90
First class 3.01 0.32 3.26 0.27 -4.22**
Last class 2.98 0.28 2.96 0.23
Note. *p <.05, ** p <.01
Comparison of Dual Scaling Analysis
Between Study 1 and Study 2
Dual scaling analysis of these data with SPSSs
multidimensional scale for both Study 1 and Study
2 accounted for 56.4% and 57.2% of the variance
respectively. The weights of both Study 1 and Study 2
for the items of three subscales are shown in Table 3.
Academic Self-effcacy (ASE)
In Study 1, Year 3 students thought Item 1 I
am aware of the assignments that are due in next
week with a large positive value and Item 7 I doubt
if I can make the effort to finish the module with
a moderate positive value were the first two most
important items in academic self-efficacy (ASE),
whereas they thought Item 10 I am determined to do
what it will take in order to succeed with my goals
was the least important in the ASE subscale. In Study
2, Year 1 students also thought Item 1 was the most
important item in the ASE subscale. All other items
presented as neutral and were close to zero (see
Table 3). The largest positive and negative value also
indicated that when students chose item 1 as the most
important item in the ASE, most of them would then
choose item 4 as the least important item in ASE in
Study 1. The same interpretation applied to Study 2.
5.22, df = 76, p<.01 and t
OAS
= -4.32, df = 76, p<.01
(see Table 2). For Study 2, there was a significant
effect on all CLEI subscales, t
ASE
= 2.43, df = 90,
p<.01, t
OAS
= -2.82, df = 90, p<.01, and t
CC
= -4.22,
p<.01 (see Table 2). Table 2 presents the means of
the student learning effectiveness for both studies in
the two respective classes, and most of the subscale
means in Study 2 appeared to be among the highest.
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Chi-hung LEUNG
Organization & Attention to Study (OAS)
In Study 1, Item 4 I break big assignments into
manageable pieces was ranked as the most important
item, whereas Item 2 I fnd my attention wandering
in class was perceived as the least important item in
the OAS subscale. In Study 2, Year 1 students ranked
Item 3 I make study goals and keep up with them
as the most important item and Item 5 I fnd myself
daydreaming when I study as the least important
item in the subscale (see Table 3).
Table 3
Dual Scaling Analysis of Study 1 and Study 2
Derived weights
Study 1 (n=78) Study 2 (n=92)
Academic self-effcacy (ASE)
Item 1 2.93 2.19
Item 2 -0.95 -0.87
Item 3 -0.80 0.24
Item 4
Item 5
-1.33
0.57
-0.10
0.80
Item 6 -0.91 -0.79
Item 7 1.02 -0.60
Item 8 0.23 0.48
Item 9 0.34 -0.03
Item 10 -1.09 -0.84
Organization & attention to study (OAS)
Item 1 0.77 0.87
Item 2 -1.44 -0.97
Item 3 0.12 1.60
Item 4 1.81 0.95
Item 5 -0.88 -1.50
Item 6 -0.39 -0.96
Class communication (CC)
Item 1 0.41 0.08
Item 2 0.61 -0.21
Item 3 0.70 1.47
Item 4 -1.73 -1.34
Class Communication (CC)
Item 4 I cannot seem to express my ideas on
paper very well with a moderate negative value was
ranked as the least important item in both Study 1
and Study 2. No important item was found in Study
1. Item 3 I dread the thought of getting test results
in certain classes was treated as the most important
item in the subscale in Study 2.
Summary of Focus Group Interviews in
the Two Studies
Percentage of different codes in focus group
interviews (Study 1)
We set 3% as the cut-off point. The following
seven items are what Year 3 students thought they
had learnt in the course of Research in Childhood: 1.
enhancement of concentration span, 2. SPSS content
not covered enough, 3. knowledge useful for final year
project, 4. course content not in-depth enough, 5. useful
to understand research paper, 6. course content not
integrated enough, and 7. application to fnal year project.
59
Developing the OBTL Curriculum with Blended Learning to Enhance Student Learning Effectiveness in the Undergraduate ECE Program
7.00%
6.00%
5.00%
4.00%
3.00%
2.00%
1.00%
0.00%
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Figure 1. Percentage of Different Codes in Focus Group Interviews (Study 1).
Percentage of Different Codes in Focus Group Interviews (Study 2)
In Study 2, Year 1 students considered two things, 1) applying knowledge to school attachment (SA),
and 2) learning ability, obtained in the course of Development of Early Childhood Education.
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Figure 2. Percentage of Different Codes in Focus Group Interviews (Study 2)
60
Chi-hung LEUNG
Discussion
Implications of the Study
Learn better with clear and well-stated
learning outcomes.
Students performed better in the quizzes
when they achieved more learning outcomes in the
checklist. This is refected in Table 1. It implies two
perspectives in the learning process: (a) students
know what they have learnt, and they can evaluate
themselves how much they understand in class, (b)
students can apply what they have learnt in the quiz.
In other words, the learning outcomes can help them
learn better.
Learning effectiveness is situational.
Students in both Study 1 and Study 2 achieved
higher scores in academic self effcacy at the end of
the semester. This reflects that students have higher
anticipation of goal achievement and outcome at the
end of the semester (Newton et al., 2008). Students
in both studies are very aware of the assignment
due dates, since most of the assignments in the ECE
department are set two weeks after the class ends.
Both Year 1 and Year 3 students gained lower
scores in OAS, possibly owing to lack of attention
and avoidance of goal planning at the end of the
semester. Only Year 1 students scored lower in CC at
the end of the semester, which may reflect they are
reluctant to join in class activity. It was found that
learning effectiveness is situational or influenced
by environmental factors. Students focus more on
their assignment write-up than on goal planning and
class activities, since the assignment due dates are
drawing nearer. The scores in OAS and CC may
also be affected by personal factors, like skills of
time management and organization of tasks. This is
consistent with Russell and Petries study in 1992
which found that student learning was likely to be
influenced by personal, social and environmental
factors.
Learning approaches of ECE students.
Skogsberg and Clump (2003) found that
students learning approaches are discipline-related.
Psychology students generally used a deep approach,
and biology students a surface approach. ECE
students may adopt achieving approaches (either deep
or surface) which are practiced to attain the highest
grades in a particular circumstance. This could be
reflected in the CLEI subscales. The academic self-
efficacy scale (ASE) obtained the highest means
among the three subscales in the two studies. ECE
students consider expectation of success, effort made
in the school setting and academic ability. Whereas
surface and deep approaches are mutually exclusive,
an achieving approach may be linked to either a
surface or a deep approach. Surface-achievers, for
instance, systematically rote learn selected details to
obtain high grades; deep achievers, who are often the
better students, are organized and plan ahead in their
search both for meaning and for high marks (Leung,
2003). It is suggested that ECE students learning
approaches in either surface-achieving or deep-
achieving approaches should be further investigated.
This is also what Kember (1996) suggests for
Chinese learners, i.e. rote learning coupled with
high academic achievement.
Learning effectiveness comparison between
freshmen and senior ECE students.
It was found that all the means of the three
subscales (ASE, OAS, CC) of ECE freshmen were
higher than those of senior ECE students. This
implies that freshmen have higher expectation of
success, strive more to enhance academic ability, have
better organization of task and time management,
and are more involved in class activities than senior
7.00%
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61
Developing the OBTL Curriculum with Blended Learning to Enhance Student Learning Effectiveness in the Undergraduate ECE Program
students. This may be because freshmen feel more
excited about a new learning environment which
is different from their experience in high school.
Second, senior students have a heavy workload,
with coursework in school and teaching practice
outside school. They always find it difficult to
handle teaching practices along with the usual
workload of the semester.
Limitations
No comparison group.
Critics of OBL object to the use of standardized
tests because it is fundamentally unfair to use the
achievement tests for impoverished disadvantaged
students as they do for more advantaged students (Lui
& Shum, 2010). Therefore, it is methodologically
advised to divide two groups: one group was an
experimental group receiving OBL with a blended
learning curriculum, and the other group was a
control group receiving OBL with no blended
learning to see whether OBL with blended learning
can enhance students learning effectiveness. The
generalizability of the results to students of other
disciplines should also be discussed.
Suggestions
OBL with blended learning.
It is suggested to adopt in design new 335
curriculum which can facilitate students to attain
the intended learning outcomes (Willis & Kissane,
1995; Towers, 1996), enhance students generic and
specific skills, and improve both the students and
the teachers perception of teaching and learning.
Practically, the use of blended learning can help
teachers decrease exercises and/or quizzes grading
workloads, and provide immediate feedbacks on
improving teaching and learning effectiveness.
Further investigation of ECE students
academic self-effcacy (ASE).
Both freshmen and senior students think I am
aware of the assignments that are due in the next
week is the most important item in academic self-
efficacy (ASE), but senior ECE students rated I
doubt if I can make the effort to fnish the module
as the second most important item in the ASE.
Senior ECE students may think there are other skills
needed to finish the Research in Childhood than
effort. These may be time management skills and / or
content knowledge. Therefore, it is worth noting this
finding in order to investigate what other skills can
help them learn better in the module.
Conclusion
The study aimed to develop an OBTL curriculum
in early childhood education (ECE) to demonstrate
exemplary cases of effective teaching and learning
in the undergraduate ECE program. The project
included continuous assessment, group presentation,
self-learning, and individual assignment to assess
students learning outcomes. A self-learning system
was set up in e-learning for students to monitor their
learning progress during the semester, including two
online exercises and a review of learning outcomes.
The presentation was evaluated by means of self-
evaluation, peer evaluation, and lecturer evaluation.
A pre-post study, dual-scaling analysis, and focus
group interviews were conducted to understand
students learning effectiveness in the study. The
results indicated that the more learning outcomes
students achieved, the higher the score they achieved.
This implies that clear and well-stated learning
outcomes can help students learn better. For learning
effectiveness, academic self-effcacy was signifcantly
improved by the end of the two courses. Students
62
Chi-hung LEUNG
showed higher-order cognitive ability to reflect on
past experiences, and make personal choices based
on management of time, goal, and priority setting.
Finally, students rated I am aware of the assignments
that are due in next week and I believe it is possible
for me to achieve good grades as the most and the
least important items respectively in the academic
self-effcacy scale.
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Author
Dr. LEUNG Chi Hung,
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Special Education & Counselling,
Hong Kong Institute of Education
[chhleung@ied.edu.hk]
Funding source of article: Teaching Development Grant,
HKIED

Received: 12.4.12, accepted 15.5.12, revised 17.5.12.