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A COMPARISON OF STUDENT KNOWLEDGE BETWEEN TRADITIONAL AND BLENDED INSTRUCTION IN A PHYSICAL EDUCATION IN EARLY CHILDHOOD COURSE

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Blended learning model combines different advantages of face to face education and e-learning to ensure an effective learning environment for students. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of traditional and blended instruction, in students´ knowledge in a Physical Education in Early Childhood course. For the purpose of this study a knowledge test was created and item analysis and validity and reliability tests were conducted. The course was developed to meet the learning needs of students and the course’s objectives. The curriculum lasted 13 weeks and included for the traditional instruction 12 face to face lectures and for the mixed 7 face to face lectures and 6 on line lectures. The software platform supporting the operation of blended instruction was the course management system E-Class. The study involved 60 students, (35 men, 25 women) aged 19-23 years old (M=20,22, SD=.98). Data analysis indicated that the knowledge test was valid and reliable. Although both groups improved their cognitive learning in this course, the blended learning group was more successful than the traditional on students´ achievement. Based on the findings, blended instruction appears as an alternative teaching practice that should be embraced by educators, in order to assist students to improve their performance.

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