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Abstract

This paper discusses the findings of a qualitative investigation that sought to illuminate the perceived benefits of undertaking a blended learning subject at one tertiary institution. While there are several studies detailing the benefits of online learning, this study focussed on the student’s perceptions. What emerged from the analysis process were a series of themes related to the notion of authentic learning. Key processes of this perceived optimal learning site and space were the elements of group and individual reflection, and risk taking. Thus a heightened sense of ownership was developed. While the students believed that this form of tertiary learning had a ‘goodness of fit’ with how they used the Internet in their everyday lives, it would appear that they also required more explicit foci and instructions. Hence there is a need for further refinement and research in order to develop greater optimal learning spaces.

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