Maaike obtained her Master degree in Educational Sciences at Ghent University in 2013, before that she graduated as a primary school teacher. Since September 2018 she is working on her PhD project at the Department of Educational Studies at Ghent University under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Bram De Wever and in function of the company D-Teach. Her PhD project focuses on the professionalization of teachers who teach in synchronous online learning environments. More specifically, the research objective is to study which specific competenties those teachers need with the aim of improving their professional learning.
Previous research has frequently described that knowing students’ perceptions and preferences are essential in order to evaluate the successful implementation of educational innovations (Könings, Seider, & van Merriënboer, 2014). Therefore, the purpose of this study is to understand how students experience the implementation of blended learning, which type of learning they prefer, and which factors (such as educational discipline and perceived workload) have an influence on their perceptions and preferences. This was done in the context of a (first) redesign of a mainly face-to-face course to a blended learning course in a university teacher training program.The questions were examined using data from a quantitative survey completed by 163 students. The results show that most students still prefer a face-to-face format, although this preference is significantly influenced by the educational discipline of the students. Furthermore, a correlation was found between students’ perceived workload and their perceptions about the blended learning course. The results of the study stress the need for instructors to further examine the perceptions and preferences of their specific student group in order optimize blended learning environments.