Blended Learning Approach: Integrating Reading and Writing Research Skills to Improve Academic Writing
Keywords:Web-Quests, Writing research skills, Reading research skills, Blended learning
The present study aimed at improving Arab Open University (AOU) students' academic writing through integrating some identified reading and writing research skills. This was achieved by applying a blended course which employed Web-Quests (WQs) that integrated the two skills to improve students’ academic writing. The study adopted one group design with pre-test and post-test treatments. It answered the questions it raised and undertook the following: Computer Skill Analysis Questionnaire (CSAQ) identified the targeted students’ background of some technological skills, Reading Research Skills Inventory (RRSI) listed the reading research sub-skills that need to be developed for the AOU students, Writing Research Skills Inventory (WRSI) listed the writing research sub-skills that need to be developed for these students, Pre/Post Test (PPT) assessed the target students' performance in the identified reading and writing research skills before and after receiving the treatment, Blended Course employing WQs integrated the identified reading and writing research skills to improve academic writing, and the three rubrics helped both the instructor and the students to assess their performance, identify and adjust their weakness, and Blended Course Assessment Questionnaire (BCAQ) identified the students’ assessment, satisfaction and reflection on learning English Language in a blended environment using WQs. Upon testing the hypotheses, results indicated that there were statistically significant differences at a level of 0.001 between the mean scores of the experimental group on the pre/post administrations of the pre-post-test in favour of the post test. In addition, statistical analysis indicated that there was a significant improvement in the students' academic writing skills due to integrating the stages of the reading and writing process which helped the students to approach academic writing systematically. Consequently, the proposed blended course proved to be effective in developing the AOU students' identified skills and it was recommended to adopt the blended course to improve their academic writing skills.
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