Digital Immigrants in a Blended Learning Environment: A Case Study in Malaysia

Chng Lay Kee, Jasmine Selvarani Emmanuel


In this rapidly changing environment, an increasing number of people are turning towards open distance universities to earn their degrees, develop new skills and acquire current knowledge in order to upgrade themselves in their professions. A number of them who enrol in these blended learning or fully online courses are middle-aged, born or brought up before the widespread use of digital technology. These digital immigrants, being used to traditional classrooms, are not very tech savvy and can be fearful about using technology as part of their learning. This study gives an insight into their learning styles, learning emotions, challenges and experience of using technology in the e-learning process during their first semester at an open distance university. The findings show that regardless of the difficulties and challenges that participants had gone through during the semester, all participants observed some changes in themselves such as the increase of confidence levels, better stress and time management skills, improvement in writing skills and becoming more independent learners with an increased ability to use technological tools for their learning. In addition, even though the learning environment is technology-based, digital immigrants maintain that they still prefer the blended learning mode rather than going completely online.

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