Optimization based blended learning framework for constrained bandwidth environment
Nazir, Ahmad Suhail
MetadataShow full item record
The underlying processes of design, development and delivery of university education have been redefined by the exponentially growing learning demand for higher education and the rapid emergence of technological innovations. In response to the higher education changing spectrum, universities are attempting to adapt new methods of learning and teaching using advanced technology facilitated means. In this wave of technology move, blended learning model that combines the best experiences in both traditional face-to- face learning and e-learning, emerged as an attractive model at higher education to enhance the learning process. Although a number of approaches have been proposed, the issue of implementing blended learning process in constrained bandwidth environment has not been adequately addressed. The issue is a barrier towards the adoption of blended learning, an effective teaching and learning approach at higher education in developing countries. In relation to this research, the process may include optimizing the network efficiency and design of the content that is sensitive to the challenges of developing countries. This research developed an ‘Optimization Based Blended Learning Framework for Constrained Bandwidth Environment’ using a mixed methods research approach, combining case studies, surveys and experiments. The framework asserts that performance of multimedia (learning content) can be improved when network and application are both optimized, aimed to increase the perceived level of user satisfaction, enhancing the blended learning process for organizations seeking to implement blended learning solutions in developing countries, a big mile stone indeed. Prior to the design of framework, data on user requirements was gathered through study investigation that comprised of two parts; Literature investigation and Empirical investigation. Using a Multi Level Systematic approach through literature investigation, the study concluded that .mp4 is the only video format compatible with the challenges of constrained bandwidth environment. On the other hand, the empirical investigation focused at exploring factors of e-readiness that led to the development of e-readiness model for organizations seeking to implement blended learning system and their challenges in the context of constrained bandwidth environment, through self reported perceptions of key stakeholders (institutions, lecturers, and students) about implementation of blended learning. The study investigation led to the design of a framework that addressed the most crucial issue not addressed by the existing blended frameworks, impeding the process of integrating blended learning in emerging economies. The designed framework used Blended Learning Framework by (Khan, 2001) as basis. The framework was tested and validated by designing a real time experimental test bed and through expert opinion. The experimental test bed using ‘latency’ the user driven multimedia performance metric verified the main theoretical concept of the designed framework ‘the performance of multimedia can be improved when network and application are both optimized’, successfully. This research addresses the question of high practical value, linking practical to theoretical foundations and the relevant literature, aimed to make both practical and scientific contribution.