Research Article

Resilience in the face of adversity: Exploring junior high learners’ perspectives and experiences of blended learning during the COVID-19 pandemic

Uriel Rei Dacoco Balanga 1 , Jomar Cobacha Cabuquin 2 *
More Detail
1 Secondary Laboratory School, Eastern Visayas State University, Tacloban City, PHILIPPINES2 Science and Mathematics Education Department, Eastern Visayas State University, Tacloban City, PHILIPPINES* Corresponding Author
European Journal of Interactive Multimedia and Education, 5(1), 2024, e02402,
Published: 20 February 2024
OPEN ACCESS   1618 Views   4155 Downloads
Download Full Text (PDF)


The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted education, revealing inadequacies and inequalities within the educational arena. This led to the emergence of blended learning as a necessary response, driven by integrating digital technology into teaching and learning. This paper explores the perspectives and experiences of junior high learners in the implementation of blended learning modality at a particular public high school institution in Eastern Visayas, Philippines. A qualitative approach using a single case study design was utilized, and the participants were selected using a purposive sampling procedure. Using Braun and Clarke’s thematic data analysis method, the study generated three themes regarding learners’ perspectives: the advantages of blended learning, limitations of blended learning for optimum learning, and ambivalent perceptions of learners towards blended learning. Moreover, five themes emerged regarding learners’ experiences of blended learning: affective issues in learning, distractive learning environment, time constraints as a learning barrier, internet connectivity issues, and challenges of quality education in blended learning implementation. As a result, school administrators, teachers, parents, and the entire academic community should strengthen their collaboration to promote and ensure the attainment of quality education in the blended learning setup. The results of this study can also assist future related research in knowing how blended learning modality can be better implemented.


Balanga, U. R. D., & Cabuquin, J. C. (2024). Resilience in the face of adversity: Exploring junior high learners’ perspectives and experiences of blended learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. European Journal of Interactive Multimedia and Education, 5(1), e02402.


  1. Abdous, M. H. (2019). Influence of satisfaction and preparedness on online students’ feelings of anxiety. The Internet and Higher Education, 41, 34-44.
  2. Alvarez Jr, A. V. (2020). Learning from the problems and challenges in blended learning: Basis for faculty development and program enhancement. Asian Journal of Distance Education, 15(2), 112-132.
  3. Anzaldo, G. D. (2021). Modular distance learning in the new normal education amidst COVID-19. International Journal of Scientific Advances, 2(3), 233-266.
  4. Asarta, C. J., & Schmidt, J. R. (2020). The effects of online and blended experience on outcomes in a blended learning environment. The Internet and Higher Education, 44, 100708.
  5. Balcı, E. (2017). Perceptions on blended learning: A study on student and instructor experiences in an english preparatory program [Master’s thesis, Pamukkale University]. handle/11499/1568
  6. Balida, D. A. R., Crisostomo, A. S. I., & Gustilo, R. C. (2021). Remote learning constructs toward blended learning modality among HEI teachers and students amid Covid19 pandemic. Psychology and Education, 58(5), 191-199.
  7. Boelens, R., De Wever, B., & Voet, M. (2017). Four key challenges to the design of blended learning: A systematic literature review. Educational Research Review, 22, 1-18.
  8. Bouilheres, F., Le, L. T. V. H., McDonald, S., Nkhoma, C., & Jandug-Montera, L. (2020). Defining student learning experience through blended learning. Education and Information Technologies, 25(4), 3049-3069.
  9. Bozkurt, A. (2022). A retro perspective on blended/hybrid learning: Systematic review, mapping and visualization of the scholarly landscape. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2022(1), 2.
  10. Bozkurt, A., & Sharma, R. C. (2021). In pursuit of the right mix: Blended learning for augmenting, enhancing, and enriching flexibility. Asian Journal of Distance Education, 16(2).
  11. Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2012). Thematic analysis. In H. Cooper, P. M. Camic, D. L. Long, A. T. Panter, D. Rindskopf, & K. J. Sher (Eds.). APA handbook of research methods in psychology (pp. 57-71). American Psychological Association.
  12. Cabuquin, J. C. (2022). Modular and online learning satisfaction in mathematics amid COVID-19: Implications for new normal teaching practices. American Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Innovation, 1(6), 30-40.
  13. Cano, L. H. T., Gómez, A. F. R., & Hoyos, J. E. P. (2023). Needs analysis to design an English blended learning program: Teachers’ and administrators’ voices. Profile: Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 25(1), 193-210.
  14. Choi, Y., & Park, N. (2022). The improvement of attitudes toward convergence of preservice teachers: Blended learning versus online learning in science teaching method courses. Journal of Curriculum and Teaching, 11(5), 87-94.
  15. Clark, C. E. J., & Post, G. (2021). Preparation and synchronous participation improve student performance in a blended learning experience. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 37(3), 187-199.
  16. Creswell, J., & Poth, C. (2018). Qualitative inquiry and research design choosing among five approaches. SAGE.
  17. Cronje, J. (2020). Towards a new definition of blended learning. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 18(2), 114-121.
  18. Cummings, C., Mason, D., Shelton, K., & Baur, K. (2017). Active learning strategies for online and blended learning environments. In Flipped instruction: Breakthroughs in research and practice (pp. 88-114). IGI Global.
  19. Dangwal, K. L. (2017). Blended learning: An innovative approach. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 5(1), 129-136.
  20. Diep, A. N., Zhu, C., Struyven, K., & Blieck, Y. (2017). Who or what contributes to student satisfaction in different blended learning modalities? British Journal of Educational Technology, 48(2), 473-489.
  21. Dziuban, C., Graham, C. R., Moskal, P. D., Norberg, A., & Sicilia, N. (2018). Blended learning: The new normal and emerging technologies. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 15, 3.
  22. Ee, M. S., Yeoh, W., Boo, Y. L., & Boulter, T. (2018). Examining the effect of time constraints on the online mastery learning approach towards improving postgraduate students’ achievement. Studies in Higher Education, 43(2), 217-233.
  23. Gaol, F. L., & Hutagalung, F. (2020). The trends of blended learning in Southeast Asia. Education and Information Technologies, 25(2), 659-663.
  24. Geng, S., Law, K. M., & Niu, B. (2019). Investigating self-directed learning and technology readiness in blending learning environment. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 16, 17.
  25. Jónsdóttir, A. A., Kang, Z., Sun, T., Mandal, S., & Kim, J.-E. (2023). The effects of language barriers and time constraints on online learning performance: An eye-tracking study. Human Factors, 65(5), 779-791.
  26. Kaufmann, R., & Vallade, J. I. (2020). Exploring connections in the online learning environment: Student perceptions of rapport, climate, and loneliness. Interactive Learning Environments, 32(10), 1794-1808.
  27. Keržič, D., Tomaževič, N., Aristovnik, A., & Umek, L. (2019). Exploring critical factors of the perceived usefulness of blended learning for higher education students. PLoS ONE, 14(11), e0223767.
  28. Kim, K. J., & Frick, T. W. (2011). Changes in student motivation during online learning. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 44(1), 1-23.
  29. Kintu, M. J., Zhu, C., & Kagambe, E. (2017). Blended learning effectiveness: The relationship between student characteristics, design features, and outcomes. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 14, 7.
  30. Kumar, A. (2017). E-learning and blended learning in orthodontic education. APOS Trends in Orthodontics, 7(4), 188-188.
  31. Larionova, V., Brown, K., Bystrova, T., & Sinitsyn, E. (2018). Russian perspectives of online learning technologies in higher education: An empirical study of a MOOC. Research in Comparative and International Education, 13(1), 70-91.
  32. Makuu, M., & Ngaruko, D. (2014). Innovation and development in blended learning mode in higher learning institutions: Interactive experiences from OUT’s postgraduate students and instructors. Huria: Journal of the Open University of Tanzania, 18(1), 42-57.
  33. Medina, L. C. (2018). Blended learning: Deficits and prospects in higher education. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 34(1), 42-56.
  34. Mheidly, N., Fares, M. Y., & Fares, J. (2020). Coping with stress and burnout associated with telecommunication and online learning. Frontiers in Public Health, 8, 672.
  35. Muller, K., Gradel, K., Deane, S., Forte, M., McCabe, R., Pickett, A. M., & Sullivan, R. (2019). Assessing student learning in the online modality. National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.
  36. Otto, D. (2018). Using virtual mobility and digital storytelling in blended learning: Analysing students’ experiences. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 19(4), 90-103.
  37. Paul, J., & Jefferson, F. (2019). A comparative analysis of student performance in an online vs. face-to-face environmental science course from 2009 to 2016. Frontiers in Computer Science, 1, 7.
  38. Prasetya, D. D., Wibawa, A. P., Hirashima, T., & Hayashi, Y. (2020). Designing rich interactive content for blended learning: A case study from Indonesia. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 18(4), 276-286.
  39. Raes, A., Detienne, L., Windey, I., & Depaepe, F. (2020). A systematic literature review on synchronous hybrid learning: Gaps identified. Learning Environments Research, 23(3), 269-290.
  40. Rasheed, R. A., Kamsin, A., & Abdullah, N. A. (2020). Challenges in the online component of blended learning: A systematic review. Computers & Education, 144, 103701.
  41. Sinclaire, J. K. (2011). Student satisfaction with online learning: Lessons from organizational behavior. Research in Higher Education Journal, 11, 1.
  42. Singh, H. (2021). Building effective blended learning programs. In Challenges and opportunities for the global implementation of e-learning frameworks (pp. 15-23). IGI Global.
  43. Suma, K., Suwindra, I. N. P., & Sujanem, R. (2020). The effectiveness of blended learning in increasing prospective physics teacher students’ learning motivation and problem-solving ability. Jurnal Pendidikan Indonesia [Indonesian Education Journal], 9(3), 436-445.
  44. Tria, J. Z. (2020). The COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of education in the Philippines: The new normal. International Journal of Pedagogical Development and Lifelong Learning, 1(1), 2-4.
  45. Wu, X. V., Chi, Y., Panneer Selvam, U., Devi, M. K., Wang, W., Chan, Y. S., Wee, F. C., Zhao, S., Sehgal, V., & Ang, N. K. E. (2020). A clinical teaching blended learning program to enhance registered nurse preceptors’ teaching competencies: Pretest and posttest study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(4), e18604.
  46. Zhao, K. (2021). Sample representation in the social sciences. Synthese, 198(10), 9097-9115.