The development of blended learning support for an introductory calculus course at a distance learning institution

Asmara Iriani Tarigan, Sitta Alief and Dina Mustafa
Universitas Terbuka

Introductory Calculus is a basic and compulsory course for new students in the School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (SMN). Data on students' grades in the autumn semester of 2013 showed that, of the 263 students who took the course examination, about 56 got a grade E, which is categorized as a 'fail,' and 97 a grade D, which is a borderline score. The large number of students who got an E or D in the course was attributed to their low level of skill in self-regulated learning. Many of them were fresh graduates from high school who did not yet have the skills to survive in a distance education system. The Mathematics department plans to develop a blended learning support programme to address this issue. The course already provides online tutorials which are not compulsory. It is planned to add the component of video conference to the online tutorials, to help the students feel as if they are learning in a face-to-face classroom situation where they can meet with a teacher who can help them to figure out the solutions to the difficulties they experience. The video conference is intended to promote in-depth learning and develop the skills necessary for the course. The video conference will be conducted four times to accompany the eight online tutorials; and the support programme will be held over eight weeks. This paper describes the planning and development of the blended learning support programme based on the analysis, design and development, implementation and evaluation model of instructional programme development. It is hoped that this development can result in a model of student learning support for university mathematics in a distance learning system.