Blended Teaching Practice: hyperbole, heuristics and holding patterns

Carol Aeschliman

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral Thesis


The use of technology in teaching has become all pervasive in our educational institutions. There is now an expectation that educators will integrate increasing numbers of technological tools into their classrooms and adopt a new paradigm of blended teaching that differs markedly from the didactic form of instructional delivery that has been the norm in the past.
The primary objective of this thesis is to explore the challenges faced by educators as they struggle to integrate new technologies into their teaching. The study considers both barriers and enablers to blended teaching practice and explores the ways in which educators navigate the complexities of their blended learning and teaching environment. The role played by academic developers in upskilling educators in technology, as well as the impact of professional development on the effectiveness of blended teaching practice is also investigated.
This is a mixed methods study and is based on an interpretivist research paradigm. The study includes an overview of blended learning and teaching from the perspective of educators from thirteen Australian universities, together with a focused study of one dual sector institution. The sample covers both the Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training sectors. Informed primarily by the qualitative data, an Academic Development Compliance Typology is developed.
The study argues that the many significant pedagogical and institutional challenges facing educators in their blended teaching practice are not being adequately addressed by key stakeholders. Consequently, due to the continuous hyperbole around the paradigm of blended learning and teaching, and despite their best efforts to integrate technology into their teaching, educators are uncertain as to how to move forward.
This research has implications for educators, academic developers and institutional leaders within Australia. In relation to the Academic Development Compliance Typology, the underpinning data suggested that certain aspects of this dual sector university’s blended learning approach could be further investigated, particularly educators’ level of ability to deliver effective blended teaching in the current educational climate.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Moss, Timothy, Supervisor
  • Grimley, Mick, Supervisor
Award date30 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2021


  • Education
  • hyperbole
  • heuristics
  • holding pattern


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