Blended Learning: Online Interviews on WizIQ
I used WizIQ virtual classes to conduct my second study on blended learning. I scheduled live online class for each interview. I interviewed faculty from higher education, who were using blended learning formats. The participants were from around the globe. WizIQ was very convenient for the research study. I was able to create a course to store the recordings of the interviews and to add the content to the courseware. I highly recommend the platform for qualitative or mixed research studies. I would gladly help anyone interested in conducted qualitative research studies online.
Blended Learning with Dr. Nellie Deutsch
According to Steve Hayes (, “One of most significant impacts technology has had on education is the ability for educators to implement blended learning. Quality blended learning, which goes beyond applying 20th century teaching practices allows teachers the opportunity to differentiate their instruction, to apply mastery-based assessment and to personalize instruction to meet each student’s needs… Join #BYOTchat at 9PM ET on Thursday, November 14, as we welcome nationally-known blended learning expert Dr. Nellie Deutsch @nelliemuller to help guide our discussion” (see BYOTchat).
I became interested in Blended Learning in the mid 90s. I had started using the computer lab as a way to facilitate English language learning as a second and foreign language. There were many challenges involved in combining technology in the face-to-face class. In the early 90s most stakeholders (admin, principals, parents, students, other teachers, and the community) were against using the Internet for learning. I wanted to know if I was the only one facing so many anti-Internet use for instruction and learning. I decided to conduct a research study to learn if this was universal. I didn’t have the money to travel around the globe, so I decided to conduct online interviews. The only technology available at the time was SKYPE and other virtual classes, but they were not very dependable.
Instructor Experiences with Blended Learning
Organizational leaders in institutions of higher education expect instructors to implement blended learning courses without understanding instructor experiences with technology. Requiring faculty to teach blended learning courses without fully understanding the experiences instructors had implementing technology may lead to developing inappropriate professional training programs, ineffective use of technology, or to instructor disuse of technology in the future.
Interviewing people online connects in ways I had not expected. The process is very rewarding for both the interviewer and the interviewees. The participants and I became close friends during the interviews and are still in touch on a regular basis. I decided to continue my research with the hope of duplicating my study every 3 years. In 2012, I did my second blended learning study using WizIQ.
I conducted 2 qualitative phenomenological research studies on blended learning, one in 2009 and one in 2012. I wanted to explore instructors’ experiences with implementing technology in blended learning courses. The two studies focused on instructors from campus-based institutions of higher education worldwide. The interviews in the fist study (2009) took place online using SKYPE while the second one was conducted on WizIQ.
I used in-depth semi-structured interviews to explore the experiences instructors had implementing technology in blended learning courses for both studies. The analysis of the transcribed interviews revealed four themes in the first study: (a) facilitating instruction and learning, (b) frustrating, (c) satisfying and rewarding, and (d) socially connecting. The conclusions derived from the study suggest that learning about the experiences instructors had implementing technology in blended learning courses may guide educational leaders in providing support and in preparing professional development workshops on how to teach blended learning courses. You can read more about it in Instructor Experiences with Implementing Technology in Blended Learning Courses.
Recruiting Teachers for the Study
I used google form to recruit teachers for both studies. I shared the link on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google +, Scoopit, Pinterest, and on Ning. I had a lot of responses, but I set a deadline for the consent form as I had in the first study. Those that had sent in the forms within one day participated in the study.
WizIQ for Online Interviews
I’m finalizing my report on the results of the second study. The results will be published within the next few months in a book. I will share the details of the book as soon it is out.
At the end of the online interviews, I wanted to learn what it was like for the participants to be interviewed on WizIQ. I set up the following google drive form to get their feedback. The comments about online interviews were very positive.
The participants liked the flexibility and convenience. They could have the interview at the comfort of their office with no extra cost like phone bills. They also liked the fact that “all the tools needed for conduction and recording the interview are all in one box – the virtual meeting room (WizIQ in this case)”.
The participants of the study enjoyed the online interviews because of their conversational nature. They found the interviews helped them think things through. They learned about themselves during the interview. As one said:
“Nellie is such an empathetic interviewer, always asking how I FELT about this or that .. I expected to be asked my opinions, but questions about my feelings were a surprise”
Transcriptions of the Video Recordings
An experienced transcriber manually transcribed all the video recordings. I created a course on WizIQ and made it private. I only shared the recordings of the online interviews with the person who transcribed the data. She transcribed 26 recordings. The transcriptions aare available in a folder on my computer. I also added the word docs to the courseware on WizIQ for future reference.
Future of Online Interviews
I would like to thank Dr. Janet Salmons for encouraging scholars to conduct interviews for qualitative and mixed research studies online. Dr. Salmons’ Online Interviews in Real Time book (2010) has paved the way for others to conduct online interviews. I wrote a chapter (chapter 10) in Dr. Salmons second book called Cases in Online Interview Research in 2012. Both books are available on Amazon. Here’s a blog post on Janet’s Online Interview Research.