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Luận văn thạc sĩ evaluating an ESP blended learning program for second year students majoring in chemistry in a university in hanoi

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  • Luận văn thạc sĩ evaluating an ESP blended learning program for second year students majoring in chemistry in a university in hanoi

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VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST- GRADUATE STUDIES ********************* ĐÀO THỊ HOA EVALUATING AN ESP BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM FOR SECOND-YEAR STUDENTS MAJORING IN CHEMISTRY IN A UNIVERSITY IN HANOI ĐÁNH GIÁ CHƯƠNG TRÌNH HỌC TIẾNG ANH CHUN NGÀNH THEO MƠ HÌNH KẾT HỢP TRỰC TIẾP- TRỰC TUYẾN DÀNH CHO SINH VIÊN NĂM THỨ HAI CHUYÊN NGÀNH HÓA HỌC TẠI MỘT TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC Ở HÀ NỘI M.A MINOR PROGRAM THESIS Field: ELT Methodology Code: 8140231.01 HANOI – 2019 VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST- GRADUATE STUDIES ********************* ĐÀO THỊ HOA EVALUATING AN ESP BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM FOR SECOND-YEAR STUDENTS MAJORING IN CHEMISTRY IN A UNIVERSITY IN HANOI ĐÁNH GIÁ CHƯƠNG TRÌNH HỌC TIẾNG ANH CHUYÊN NGÀNH THEO MƠ HÌNH KẾT HỢP TRỰC TIẾP- TRỰC TUYẾN DÀNH CHO SINH VIÊN NĂM THỨ HAI CHUYÊN NGÀNH HÓA HỌC TẠI MỘT TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC Ở HÀ NỘI M.A MINOR PROGRAM THESIS Field: ELT Methodology Code: 8140231.01 Supervisor: Trần Thị Thu Hiền, Ph.D HANOI – 2019 DECLARATION I hereby declare that the minor thesis submitted today entitled: “Evaluating an ESP blended learning program for second-year students majoring in Chemistry in a university in Hanoi” is the result of my own work, except where reference is made in the text of the thesis The work contained in this thesis has not been previously submitted for a higher degree in any other education institution Dao Thi Hoa September, 2019 i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS During the period of completing the Master thesis, I have received the support of a great number of people First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisor, Ms Tran Thi Thu Hien, Ph.D for her patient guidance, detailed suggestions, excellent support, great encouragement and constructive supervision during the research project I also wish to express my great thanks to all the professors and lecturers at the University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, for their insightful lectures, their invaluable assistance, and guidance during learning the Master program I am indebted to the university where I work, my colleagues, and my students who participated in this study For ethical reasons, I cannot mention their names here, yet I wish to warmly thank them for their interest and support for my study Without their participation, this study would not have come into being Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to my family and my friends for their long-term support and encouragement from the beginning to the end of the research process My parents, my husband, and my daughter have happily shared all the ups and downs of my research journey I could not have sustained and completed this difficult journey without their support and unconditional love Dao Thi Hoa ii ABSTRACT The continual growth of technology enhances the development of English teaching and learning, especially ESP blended learning programs in higher education, which can improve the communicative environments for Vietnamese students However, the effectiveness of this program is not clearly recognized This paper aims at evaluating the effectiveness of an ESP blended learning program for second-year students majoring in Chemistry in a university in Hanoi, finding the difficulties which teachers and students have to encounter during teaching and learning this program Based on which some recommendations were suggested to design a better learning and teaching program This paper is a survey research project identifying learner evaluation towards the effectiveness of an ESP blended learning program as well as teacher evaluation of the program through their learning and teaching experience The author conducted a survey questionnaire at Chemistry department of a university in Hanoi with 55 student respondents Also, the researcher interviewed English teachers who are in charge of teaching English for these students The results revealed that the students‟ perceptions and attitudes towards the effectiveness of blended learning program were positive in terms of the four domains in the questionnaire: (i) online learning parts, (ii) face-to-face lessons, (iii) online and face-to-face integration, and (iv) learners‟ outcomes However, regarding implementing ESP blended learning for the second-year students in the Chemistry department, some negations are openly acknowledged In addition, possible suggestions are proposed for enhancing the effectiveness of such program iii TABLE OF CONTENTS DECLARATION i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii ABSTRACT iii LIST OF FIGURES vii LIST OF TABLES viii CHAPTER 1- INTRODUCTION 1.1 Rationale for the study 1.2 Aims and objectives of the study 1.3 Research questions 1.3 Methods of the study 1.4 Scope of the study 1.5 Significance of the study 1.6 Structure of the thesis Chapter 2- LITERATURE REVIEW .5 2.1 English for Specific Purposes (ESP) 2.1.1 Definition of ESP 2.1.2 Characteristics of ESP 2.1.3 Types of ESP 2.1.4 English for General Purposes (EGP) versus English for Specific Purposes (ESP) 2.2 Blended learning 2.2.1 Definition of blended learning 2.2.2 Benefits of blended learning 10 2.2.3 Requirements of implementing blended learning 11 2.3 Program evaluation 12 2.3.1 Definition of program evaluation 12 2.3.2 Blended learning evaluation 13 2.3.3 Purposes of program evaluation .15 2.3.4 Program evaluators 16 iv 2.4 Previous studies related to the thesis 17 2.5 Chapter summary 20 CHAPTER 3- METHODOLOGY 21 3.1 The participants 21 3.1.1 Students 21 3.1.2 Teachers 21 3.2 Research setting 21 3.3 Research questions 23 3.4 Research methods 23 3.5 Data collection instruments 25 3.5.1 Questionnaire 25 3.5.2 Interview 27 3.6 Data collection procedure .27 3.6.1 Questionnaire 27 3.6.2 Interview 28 3.7 Data analysis procedure 29 3.7.1 Analysis of the survey questionnaire 29 3.7.2 Analysis of the interview 29 3.8 Chapter summary 30 CHAPTER 4- DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS 31 4.1 The effectiveness of the ESP blended learning program 31 4.1.1 Online learning parts 31 4.1.1.1 Students’ evaluation on online learning parts 31 4.1.1.3 Teachers’ evaluation on online learning parts 32 4.1.2 Face-to-face lessons 34 4.1.2.1 Students’ evaluation on face-to-face lessons 34 4.1.2.2 Teachers’ evaluation on face-to-face lessons 36 4.1.3 The integration between online learning and face-to-face lessons 37 4.1.3.1 Students’ evaluation on the integration between online learning and face- to-face lessons 37 v 4.1.3.2 Teachers’ evaluation on the integration between online learning and face-to-face lessons 38 4.1.4 Students’ outcomes 40 4.1.4.1 Students’ evaluation on their outcomes 40 4.1.4.2 Teachers’ evaluation on students’ outcomes 41 4.1.5 Learners’ expectation 42 4.2 Students and teachers’ difficulties encountered during the programs 43 4.2.1 Students’ difficulties 43 4.2.2 Teachers’ difficulties 44 4.3 Suggestions and implications 45 4.3.1 The teachers and students’ suggestions to improve the ESP blended learning program 45 4.3.1.1 Learners’ suggestions 45 4.3.1.2 Teacher’s suggestions 46 4.3.2 Implications for a better ESP blended learning program 47 4.3.2.1 Implications for students 48 4.3.2.2 Implications for teachers 48 4.3.2.3 Implications for university authorities 50 4.4 Discussion .51 4.5 Chapter summary 53 CHAPTER 5- CONCLUSION .54 5.1 Recapitulation 54 5.2 Limitations and suggestions for further studies 56 5.2.1 Limitations .56 5.2.2 Suggestions for further studies 57 REFERENCES 58 APPENDICES I Appendix A: SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE FOR STUDENTS I Appendix B: TEACHERS’ INTERVIEW QUESTIONS V vi LIST OF FIGURES Figure 2.1: Four puzzle pieces of evaluation (Pombo and Moreira, 2011) 14 Figure 4.1: Students‟ evaluation of online learning parts 31 Figure 4.2: Students‟ evaluation on face-to-face lessons 34 Figure 4.3: Students‟ evaluation on the integration between online and face-to-face 37 Figure 4.4: Students‟ evaluation on their outcomes 40 Figure 4.5: Learners‟ expectation of the ESP blended learning course 42 vii LIST OF TABLES Table 2.1: ESP characteristics Dudley-Evans and St John (1998) Table 2.2: Types of ESP, Dudley-Evans, T & John, M.J (1998 pp.34-73) .7 viii interviews and questionnaires illustrated that the ESP blended learning program was effective and helpful in improving students‟ English ability, to some extent One the one hand, with regard of the effectiveness of the ESP blended learning program, both the course teachers and students‟ evaluations indicated that the students highly appreciated this ESP blended learning in diverse ways Firstly, the program provides students with a better learning environment through a good online website running quite smoothly Students can learn online through various types of task with a rich amount of knowledge related to their major Secondly, face-to-face sessions present very clear objectives for every single lesson and unit that helps students understand what they have to reach in the end of the program Moreover, the face-to-face lessons contain a great deal of interesting and helpful activities help improve students‟ speaking skills under the helpful instructions and guides from the teachers Thirdly, there is a close integration between online and face-to-face which enlightens about blended learning and helps them recognized the usefulness of learning online and face-to-face at the same time Finally, the ESP blended learning program motivated the students to become more independent and autonomous learners and also provided opportunities to practice language and helped students gain a broad knowledge of the fields that can be applied in their future job Also, the course provided students with many opportunities to improve their English skills, especially speaking skills that are the most essential for them nowadays On the other hand, participants expressed their difficulties encountered during experiencing this course Concerning students‟ evaluation towards the program, the analysis of the questionnaires revealed that majority of the students found it is challenging to learn online with so many exercises and pass the final exam with getting at least mark Besides, the teachers noted that they had met some challenges during teaching this ESP blended learning program such as mixed-ability classes, learners‟ negative attitudes, major-related knowledge, and so on The participants also suggested some solutions for dealing with these difficulties and proposed some possible recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of this 55 ESP blended learning program in terms of the online content, the teaching offline methodology and the learners‟ outcome While evaluating the ESP blended learning applying for second-year students majoring in Chemistry in the university, some broader implications were drawn from the results for a more effective ESP blended learning program Firstly, the online content is too heavy that learners sometimes feel overloaded and demotivated, so it is better if the number of online exercises could be reduced to be more reasonable Secondly, for more effective teaching and learning, teachers can keep contact with learners and support them more frequently Finally, students should be classified from the beginning of the course to arrange them into the suitable level class Last but not least, the university should provide better online system with quicker helps and supports from IT department It is obvious that the benefits of the program outweigh its weaknesses Therefore, the program with some changes as suggested in the implications part can be nominated to be a good program to teach a foreign language at this university 5.2 Limitations and suggestions for further studies Although efforts have been made, some limitations are unavoidable during the process of doing the research The weaknesses of this research can be the suggestions for further studies in the future 5.2.1 Limitations Due to various constraints, several limitations exist in the present study The limitations might somehow influence the research Firstly, according to Pombo and Moreira‟s evaluation framework (2011), there are four questions should be solved when evaluating a blended learning program, but this study focuses only on question four “What should be evaluated?” Therefore, there are more issues, which have not been evaluated yet Secondly, the size of the respondents of this study (55 students and teachers) is not big enough as expected 56 Finally, this study just carries out at the Chemistry Department, but other departments in the university also implement this program Hence, the result of the study may not be applied to examine the impact of blended learning in the university contexts 5.2.2 Suggestions for further studies Doing program evaluation means more than evaluating through the perception of teachers and students about the strengths and weaknesses of the program Other aspects could offer room for evaluation like evaluating the teachers‟ performance and learners‟ performance, evaluating materials used in the program and such However, since this is the first evaluation of the program to be done and due to the time matter, the researcher only focuses on the mentioned issues Due to the limit of time and scope, limitations and shortcomings are inevitable Hopefully, further research in the future will reach particular success in the above fields The researcher would like to recommend further study as following suggestions for enhancing the effectiveness and solving the challenges of such program The first suggestion for future research would be to adopt the same research methodology and conduct research for other students majoring in other fields and see whether there has been any different on students‟ evaluation on the effectiveness of the ESP blended learning applying in the same university The further studies are expected to investigate both four aspects of the framework to find out more detailed about the ESP blended learning program Secondly, the university is experiencing a challenging time because of the changes in implementing this program for students in every department Therefore, it is important to investigate whether these efforts get a good result or not Besides, conducting the same research for other students would also test the reliability of this research Finally, the same research could be conducted for more students and teachers for more reliable results The research instruments should be varied for further studies such as interviews, observations, pre-test, and post-test It is expected that there will be some differences in the students and teachers‟ evaluations on the ESP blended learning between different years 57 REFERENCES Ahmad, F., & Aziz, J (2009) Students‟ perception of the teachers‟ teaching of literature communicating and understanding through the eyes of the audience European Journal of social sciences, 7(3), 17-26 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The supports from non-teaching staff were quick and helpful for the online system running well (IT, teaching assistants ) (Nhân viên công nghệ thông tin giáo vụ hỗ trợ kịp thời hữu ích, giúp hệ thống trực tuyến vận hành tốt) There were various types of online tasks for learners to practice many times ( Các loại tập trực tuyến đa dạng giúp người học luyện tập nhiều lần) The materials are suitable with students‟ level 12345 ( Tài liệu phù hợp với trình độ người học) The materials were useful for learners‟ future career 12 (Tài liệu hữu ích cho nghề nghiệp tương lai người học) Online sources encouraged learners to self-study (Các nguồn tài liệu trực tuyến khuyến khích người học tự học) I 12345 Online content was an excellent material for using in social interaction (Nội dung học trực tuyến nguồn tài liệu tuyệt vời áp dụng giao tiếp xã hội) B- Face-to-face lessons Each unit in the course book had clear objectives 12345 (Mỗi học giáo trình có mục tiêu cụ thể) 10 Each lesson of every single unit in the book had clear objectives 12345 (Từng tiết học unit giáo trình có mục tiêu cụ thể) 11 Checklist and procedure for each unit activities (including activities of each lesson) was included (Danh sách tiến trình thực hoạt động cụ thể tiết học cung cấp đầy đủ) 12 In-class activities were well-designed with various types of activities and interactive media such as video clips, audios, picture, etc (Các hoạt động lớp thiết kế phù hợp với hình thức phương tiện tương tác đa dạng, có hỗ trợ giáo cụ trực quan video, ghi âm, hình ảnh…) 13 The instructions in the textbook were clear and helpful with understandable and supportive language (Các hướng dẫn sách rõ ràng hữu ích, sử dụng ngơn ngữ dễ hiểu) 14 Detailed requirements for student performance on each activity were provided (Các yêu cầu chi tiết người học hoạt động cung cấp đầy đủ.) 15 In-class activities promoted positive classroom atmosphere 12345 ( Các hoạt động trực tiếp thúc đẩy khơng khí học tập tích cực lớp) 16 The teachers provided learners clear instructions on how to participate in the course activities (Giáo viên hướng dẫn rõ ràng cách thực hoạt động khóa học) 17 The teachers motivated learners to participate in productive discussion 12345 (Giáo viên thúc đẩy người học tham gia vào hoạt động thảo luận) 18 Teachers frequently used relevant teaching resources besides the course book to create a positive learning atmosphere (Giáo viên thường xuyên sử dụng nguồn tài liệu phù hợp ngồi giáo trình để tạo khơng khí học tập tích cực.) II 19 Teachers provided useful feedbacks and corrections, particularly at the end of topics, to reinforce learning requirements and expectations for that topic (Giáo viên đưa phản hồi sửa lỗi hữu ích, đặc biệt sau kết thúc chủ đề để củng cố yêu cầu cần đạt học chủ đề đó) C- Integration between online and face-to-face 20 Face-to-face and online activities connected with each other in every single lesson ( Các hoạt động học trực tiếp – trực tuyến có liên kết với đơn vị học) 21 Face-to-face and online activities were equally included in learner assessments such as progress test, mid-term test and final test (Nội dung học trực tiếp trực tuyến đánh giá kiểm tra, định kì cuối kì.) 22 The face-to-face activities helped learners construct explanations for what they misunderstood in learning online ( Các hoạt động học trực tiếp giúp người học tự giải thích điều chưa hiểu học trực tuyến) 23 What happens online affected and built on what happens on face-to-face activities (Nội dung học trực tuyến có ảnh hưởng đến góp phần xây dựng nên hoạt động học trực tiếp) 24 Online assignments encouraged students to engage in course content and face-to-face work (Các tập trực tuyến khuyến khích người học tham gia vào nội dung khóa học hoạt động trực tiếp) 25 Learner was encouraged to extend their knowledge on the online- follow up sessions (Người học khuyến khích khám phá kiến thức trực tuyến sau học) 26 Materials and activities were modified frequently to improve or fix inadequacies (Các tài liệu hoạt động điều chỉnh thường xuyên để cải thiện khắc phục bất cập) D- Learner’s outcome (Kết người học) 27 Learners felt comfortable participating in activities in class 12345 (Người học cảm thấy thoải mái tham gia hoạt động lớp) 28 Learners felt comfortable in interacting with other members in class III 12345 (Người học cảm thấy thoải mái tương tác với thành viên khác lớp) 29 Learners‟ team work skills were improved 12345 ( Kĩ làm việc nhóm cải thiện) 30 The amount of time to learn English increased remarkably because learners study not only online but also face-to-face classes, which makes their English better (Thời gian học Tiếng Anh tăng lên đáng kể người học khơng tham gia học trực tuyến mà học trực tiếp, giúp lực Tiếng anh tăng lên) 31 Learners‟ autonomy was enhanced because of learning at their own pace with suitable place and time ( Tính tự chủ nâng cao người học chọn lựa tốc độ học với thời gian địa điểm phù hợp) 32 Learners can apply the knowledge created in this course to the work or other non-class related activities (Người học áp dụng kiến thức học khóa học vào cơng việc hoạt động ngoại khóa khác.) 33 What are your difficulties during attending the ESP blended learning course? (Những khó khăn mà bạn gặp phải trình học gì?) a doing online tasks b joining activities in class c doing homework d support from teachers/ IT helpers e passing the final test f others ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 34 What are your ideas to improve the ESP blended learning program (About online system, face-to-face activities, the course book, the interaction between teachers and learners, etc.)? (Ý kiến bạn để nâng cao chất lượng chương trình học, hệ thống học trực tuyến, hoạt động lớp, giáo trình, tương tác giáo viên người học,kiểm tra đánh giá…………) ……………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME! IV Appendix B: TEACHERS’ INTERVIEW QUESTIONS To what extent you agree that: Due dates/times for online activities was shown clearly on the website Contact information of teachers and technical staffs was provided on the learning website The supports from non-teaching staff were quick and helpful for the online system running well (IT staff, teaching assistants.) There were various types of online tasks for learners to practice many times The materials are suitable with students‟ level The materials were useful for learners‟ future career Online sources encouraged learners to self-study Online content was an excellent material for using in social interaction Each unit in the course book had clear objectives 10 Each lesson of every single unit in the book had clear objectives 11 Checklist and procedure for each unit activities (including activities of each lesson) was included 12 In-class activities were well-designed with various types of activities and interactive media such as video clips, audios, picture, etc 13 The instructions in the textbook were clear and helpful with understandable and supportive language 14 Detailed requirements for student performance on each activity were provided 15 In-class activities promoted positive classroom atmosphere 16 The teachers provided learners clear instructions on how to participate in the course activities 17 The teachers motivated learners to participate in productive discussion 18 Teachers frequently used relevant teaching resources besides the course book to create a positive learning atmosphere 19 Teachers provided useful feedbacks and corrections, particularly at the end of topics, to reinforce learning requirements and expectations for that topic V 20 Face-to-face and online activities connected with each other in every single lesson 21 Face-to-face and online activities were equally included in learner assessments such as progress test, mid-term test and final test 22 The face-to-face activities helped learners construct explanations for what they misunderstood in learning online 23 What happens online affected and built on what happens on face-to-face activities 24 Online assignments encouraged students to engage in course content and faceto-face work 25 Learner was encouraged to extend their new knowledge on the online in follow up sessions 26 Materials and activities were modified frequently to improve or fix inadequacies 27 Learners felt comfortable participating in activities in class 28 Learners felt comfortable in interacting with other members in class 29 Learners‟ teamwork skills were improved 30 The amount of time to learn English increased remarkably, because learners study not only online but also face-to-face classes, which makes their English better 31 Learners‟ autonomy was enhanced because of learning at their own pace with suitable place and time 32 Learners can apply the knowledge created in this course to the work or other non-class related activities 33 What are your difficulties during teaching the ESP blended learning program? 34 What are your ideas to improve the blended learning program (About online system, face-to-face activities, the course book, the interaction between teachers and learners, etc.)? VI ... using Internet and information technologies have increased significantly and it is available for using in language teaching and learning Therefore, online learning activities are being expanded... the material for teachers teaching ESP blended learning at this university in particular and for teachers and students attending ESP blended learning in general to implement a successful ESP blended. .. instruction and learning and has limited applying it in a wide range These requirements relate to technical, organizational, human, financial and administrative ones The first is that of skills training
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