Design and implementation factors in blended synchronous learning environments: Outcomes from a cross-case analysis

Matt Bower*, Barney Dalgarno, Gregor E. Kennedy, Mark J W Lee, Jacqueline Kenney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

267 Citations (Scopus)
128 Downloads (Pure)


Increasingly, universities are using technology to provide students with more flexible modes of participation. This article presents a cross-case analysis of blended synchronous learning environments - contexts where remote students participated in face-to-face classes through the use of rich-media synchronous technologies such as video conferencing, web conferencing, and virtual worlds. The study examined how design and implementation factors influenced student learning activity and perceived learning outcomes, drawing on a synthesis of student, teacher, and researcher observations collected before, during, and after blended synchronous learning lessons. Key findings include the importance of designing for active learning, the need to select and utilise technologies appropriately to meet communicative requirements, varying degrees of co-presence depending on technological and human factors, and heightened cognitive load. Pedagogical, technological, and logistical implications are presented in the form of a Blended Synchronous Learning Design Framework that is grounded in the results of the study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalComputers and Education
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Blended synchronous learning
  • Synchronous learning
  • Hybrid learning
  • Computer-supported collaborative learning
  • Learning design


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