Application of Blended Learning through Practical Project-based Instruction: Opportunities and Constraints

Blended Learning

  • Rahman Tafahomi Architecture Department, School of Architecture and Built Environment, College of Science and Technology, University of Rwanda
Keywords: Blended Learning, Architecture, Practical Activities, Project Based, Teamwork Activities


This paper aims to highlight the application of Blended Learning (BL) for practical courses in the architecture program in the COVID-19 period. Physical Environment course is a theoretical module for first-year undergraduate students in the architecture program. Despite the course being written in theoretical structure, it was proposed to reorient the course into mixed methods with practical activities through online researching, site visiting, and reporting. This research applied a qualitative method with the application of case study, structured observation, content analysis, graphical analysis, and interpretation techniques. The data was collected from 40 students divided into ten groups, four students per group, to discover the application of BL in a practical and project-based activity. The findings of the research showed the students faced limitations to access the search engines and scientific sources to collect the sources for exercises. A half part of the group did plagiarism in the citation and referencing of the reports. The students present more accurate data in the site visiting and practical activities than the theoretical part. To conclude, the application of BL requires sufficient infrastructure for access to online materials through institutions. The implementation of BL helps the students to personalize and specialize the learning process through their own report design and exercises that are more effective for course delivery. Although the BL is implemented just in the activity and course levels by staff and students, BL mode requires to set-up in both program and institutional levels to achieve the results


Allen, I. E., Seaman, J., & Garrett, R. (2011). Blending in. The extent and promise of blended education in the United States. Retrieved from
Aycock, A., Garnham, C., & Kaleta, R. (2002). Lessons learnt from the hybrid course project. Teaching with Technology Today, 8(6), 1-6. Retrieved from Retrieved from
Bonnes, M., & Bonaiuto, M. (2002). Environmental psychology: From spatial-physical environment to sustainable development. In R. B. Bechtle, & A. Churchman (Eds.), Handbook of environment psychology (pp. 28-54). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Chen, C. C., & Jones, K. T. (2007). Blended-learning vs. traditional classroom settings: Analyzing students’ satisfaction with inputs and learning processes in an MBA accounting course. In B. N. Schwartz, & A. H. Catanach, Advances in Accounting Education Vol. 8. Teaching and curriculum innovations (pp. 25–37). Bingley, UK: Emerald. doi:10.1016/S1085-4622(07)08002-9
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education. New York: Routledge.
De George‐Walker, L., & Keeffe, M. (2010). Self‐determined blended learning: a case study of blended learning design. Higher Education Research & Development, 29(1), 1–13. doi:10.1080/07294360903277380
Delialioglu, O., & Yildirim, Z. (2007). Students’ perceptions on effective dimensions of interactive learning in a blended learning environment. Educational Technology & Society, 10(2), 133-146.
Dziuban, C. D., Hartman, L. J., & Moskal, P. D. (2004). Blended learning. Educause Center for Applied Research. Research Bulletin , 7, 1-12. Retrieved from Retrieved from
Garrison, D. R., & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 7(2), 95-105. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2004.02.001
Gibson, D., Broadley, T., & Downie, J. (2016). Blended learning in a converged model of university transformation. In C. Lim, & L. Wang, Blended learning for quality higher education: Selected case studies on implementation from Asia Pacific (pp. 235-263). Bangkok: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Gomez, L. A., & Duart, J. M. (2011). A hybrid approach to university subject learning activities. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42(2).
Graham, C. R. (2009). Blended learning models. In M. Khosrow-Pour, Encyclopedia of information science and technology (pp. 375–382). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch063
Graham, C. R., & Robison, R. (2007). Realizing the transformational potential of blended learning: Comparing cases of transforming blends and enhancing blends in higher education. In A. G. Picciano, & C. D. Dziuban, Blended learning: Research perspectives (pp. 83-110). Needham, MA: The Sloan Consortium.
Graham, C. R., Woodfield, W., & Harrison, J. B. (2013). A framework for institutional adoption and implementation of blended learning in higher education. Internet and Higher Education. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2012.09.003
Groat, L., & Wang, D. (2002). Architectural research methods. New York: John Wiley & Sons INC.
Gülbahar, Y., & Madran, R. O. (2009). Communication and collaboration, satisfaction, equity, and autonomy in blended learning environments: A case from Turkey. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(2).
Hemyari, C., Zomorodian, K., Ahrari, I., Tavana, S., Parva, M., Pakshir, K., . . . Sahraian, A. (2013). The mutual impact of personality traits on seating preference and educational achievement. European Journal of Psychological Education, 28, 863–877.
Hewitt, J. (2003). How habitual online practices affect the development of asynchronous discussion threads. Journal of Educational Computing, 28(1), 31–45. doi:10.2190/PMG8-A05J-CUH1-DK14
Krippendorff, K. H. (2003). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology (2 ed.). New York: Sage Publications.
Lane, M., Osborne, L., & Crowther, P. (2015). A blended learning approach to the teaching of professional practice in architecture. Educ. Sci, 5, 166–178. doi:10.3390/educsci5020166
Lawson, B. (2005). How designers think: The design process demystified (4 ed.). Oxford: Oxford Press.
Martin, M. H. (2003). Factors influencing faculty adoption of Web-based courses in teacher education programs within the State University of New York. Doctoral Dissertation. Retrieved from
McGee, P., & Reis, A. (2012). Blended course design: A synthesis of best practices. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16(4), 7-22.
Medina, C. L. (2010). Metacognitive instructional strategies: A study of e-learners’ self-regulation. Fourteenth international conference of motivation and beyond. Antwerp, Belgium: University of Antwerp. Retrieved from Retrieved from 2010.pdf
Medina, L. C. (2018). Blended learning: Deficits and prospects in higher education. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 34(1), 42-56.
Moore, N., & Gilmartin, M. (2010). Teaching for better learning: A blended learning pilot project with first-year geography undergraduates. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 34(3), 327–344. doi:10.1080/03098265.2010.501552
Mugerauer, R. (1995). Interpreting environments: Tradition, deconstruction, hermeneutics. Texas: University of Texas.
Muñoz-Cristóbal, J. A., Prieto, L. P., Asensio-Pérez, J. I., Jorrín-Abellán, I. M., & Dimitriadis, Y. (2012). Lost in translation from abstract learning design to ICT implementation: A study using moodle for CSCL. 21st century learning for 21st century skills, 7th European conference on technology enhanced learning, EC-TEL2012 (pp. 264-277). Saarbrücken, Germany: Springer.
Neuman, L. W. (2006). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. New York: Pearson Education.
Owston, R., York, D., & Murtha, S. (2013). Student perceptions and achievement in a university blended learning strategic initiative. Internet and Higher Education, 18, 38-46. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2012.12.003
Palmer, S., & Holt, D. (2014). Development of student and academic staff perceptions of the elements of an online learning environment over time. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 30(4), 375–389. doi:10.14742/ajet.581
Picciano, A. G. (2009). Blending with purpose: The multimodal model. Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, 5(1), 4-14.
Piper, T. (2010). What policy changes do experts recommend K-12 instructional leaders enact to support the implementation of online instruction and learning? Doctoral dissertation. Retrieved from Available from ProQuest dissertations and theses database. (UMI No. 3430711)
Powell, A. (2011). A case study of e-learning initiatives in New Zealand’s secondary schools. Retrieved from
Prieto, L. P., Muñoz-Cristóbal,, J. A., Asensio-Pérez, J. I., & Dimitriadis, Y. (2012). Making learning designs happen in distributed learning environments with GLUE!-PS. 21st century learning for 21st century skills, 7th European conference on technology enhanced learning, EC-TEL2012 (pp. 489-494). Saarbrücken, Germany: Speringer.
Rossett, A. (2002). The ASTD e-learning handbook: Best practices, strategies, and case studies for an emerging field. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Schon, D. A. (1984). The architectural studio as an exemplar of education for reflection-in-action. Journal of Architecture Education, 38, 2-9.
Shulman, L. S. (2005). Signature pedagogies in the professions. Daedalus, 134, 52–59.
Silverman, D. (2004). Qualitative research: Theory, method and practice. New York: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Silverman, D. (2010). Doing qualitative research. New York: SAGE Publisher.
Sutton, L. A. (2001). The principle of vicarious interaction in computer-mediated communications. International Journal of Educational Telecommunications, 7(3), 223–242. Retrieved from
Tafahomi, R. (2020). Educational outcome of students’ group-table arrangement for collaboration in architectural thesis studio. LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 17(2), 22-46.
Tafahomi, R. (2021). Application of physical and nonphysical elements in the conservation of historic core of city. South African Journal of Geomatics, 10(1), 75-86. doi:10.4314/sajg.v10i1.6
Tafahomi, R. (2021). Qualities of the green landscape in primary schools, deficiencies and opportunities for health of the pupils. J. Fundam. Appl . Sci, 13(2), 1093 -1116. doi:10.43 14/jfas.v13i2.25
Tafahomi, R., & Nadi, R. (2020). Insight into the missing aspects of therapeutic landscape in psychological centers in Kigali, Rwanda. Cities & Health, Online, 1-13. doi:10.1080/23748834.2020.1774035
Williams, M., & Robert, L. B. (1997). Psychology for language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Woolfolk, A. (2016). Educational psychology. Boston: Pearson.
Woollard, J. (2010). Psychology of classroom: Behaivouralism. New York: Routledge.
How to Cite
Tafahomi, R. (2021). Application of Blended Learning through Practical Project-based Instruction: Opportunities and Constraints. Pedagogi: Jurnal Ilmu Pendidikan, 21(2), 77-89.