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Enhancing Business Writing Instruction with Blended Learning Open Access


Author or creator
Wu, Jing
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Business writing instruction
blended learning
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Research Material
China, Guangxi, China
Blended learning, which combines face-to-face instruction with online learning, has aroused an increasing interest in academic research. The rationale, benefits, practices, and challenges of blended learning have been well documented. As suggested in the literature, both the process approach and socio-cultural theory require more social interaction for second language acquisition. The increase of social interaction resulting from the availability of both online and offline platforms, is one of the major benefits of blended learning. The other benefits indicated in research include active participation, better engagement, higher comfort level at language use, and improvement of writing skill. The application of blended learning, as shown in research, involves environment creation, activity arrangement and usage of online tools. The challenges faced in implementing blended instruction, as reported in research, include the lack of connection between the two modes (online and face to face), insufficient printed materials, and the lack of technological, typing and writing skills for students; the lack of pedagogical and technological skills, and failure to change roles for instructors. In order to explore the possible suggestions to enhance writing instruction with blended learning, a case study on the challenges facing Wuzhou University is presented after the literature review. If implementing blended writing instruction, Wuzhou University would face the following obstacles: the lack of relevant experiences; instructors’ need for technological and pedagogical skills; students’ need for computer and learning skills; the lack of suitable facilities and specific Chinese textbooks. In view of this specific context, suggestions are put forward to help implement blended learning at Wuzhou University. Firstly, design the writing course to be a parallel blendedness with roughly 30% face-to-face and 70% online, and a simultaneous use of a forum, a blog and a wiki. Secondly, prepare instructors for the knowledge and skills of blended instruction by training and a field experience in teaching or sitting in the classroom of a blended course. Thirdly, prepare students for technical and learning skills of blended learning by offering workshops which integrate on-site survey, hands-on experience and teaching video demonstration. Fourthly, adapt facilities for blended instruction by classroom remodeling, the setting up of an e-learning interface, and the installation of a Moodle system. Fifthly, develop an online file or textbooks by an instructor committee.
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