A Scoping Review of Experimental Evidence on Face-to-Face Components of Blended Learning in Higher Education

Julie Buhl-Wiggers, Annemette Kjærgaard*, Kasper Munk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The practice of combining digital and face-to-face elements into blended learning courses is becoming the new normal in higher education and offers a promising learning format. While studies on the effects of blended learning have so far focused mostly on the online components of the blends, the success of blended learning also rests on the quality of the integrated face-to-face activities. This scoping review examines evidence from 59 experimental studies conducted in higher education settings to explore what makes face-to-face components of blended learning efficacious. The focus is on pedagogical intentions rather than on quantifying the balance between online and face-to-face activities. The results indicate which face-to-face activities support the pedagogical objectives of higher-order processing, social interaction, and engagement. The review identifies current gaps in blended learning research and calls for richer characterizations of face-to-face activities in blended learning to support the development of finely tuned interventions and guide practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)151-173
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Blended learning
  • Face-to-face activities
  • Improving classroom teaching
  • Higher education
  • Teaching/learning strategies

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