An action research of using SAMR to guide blended learning adoption during Covid-19

Jonas KELSCH, Tianchong Alex WANG

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

1 Citation (Scopus)


SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition) model is a framework that offers educators direction in advancing technology integration in their teaching practice. It has been praised for its elegance and capacity to help teachers design and implement learning activities where technology can play a role, although it has been criticised for its lack of academic rigour and emphasis on product over process. During the global Covid-19 pandemic, the question of whether and how the SAMR model can support quality instruction in an online/blended environment warrants investigation. The teacher-researcher, a higher education EFL teacher based in Zhuhai, China, has assessed the SAMR model with an action research. The study spanned a challenging transition–from a period of fully online instruction in Spring semester 2019–20, to a blended learning (BL) format during Autumn and Spring 2020–21. The findings of this paper illustrate that SAMR can be useful as a compass to help teachers navigate towards effective technology-based education, despite the fact that using the model may not always lead towards promising practice. The findings also challenge the general conception of the SAMR model as a ladder that must be climbed. This study contributes to a critical discussion of SAMR, with examples of how the model was utilised to cope with rapid change in educational mode. The study also provides BL practitioners with some lessons learned from utilising SAMR as a guide for high-impact technology integration. Copyright © 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmerging technologies for education: 6th International Symposium, SETE 2021, Zhuhai, China, November 11–12, 2021, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsWeijia JIA, Yong TANG, Raymond S. T. LEE, Michael HERZOG, Hui ZHANG, Tianyong HAO, Tian WANG
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)9783030928360
ISBN (Print)9783030928353
Publication statusPublished - 2021


Kelsch, J., & Wang, T. (2021). An action research of using SAMR to guide blended learning adoption during Covid-19. In W. Jia, Y. Tang, R. S. T. Lee, M. Herzog, H. Zhang, T. Hao, & T. Wang (Eds.), International Symposium on Emerging Technologies for Education (pp. 207-218). Cham: Springer.


  • Online learning
  • Blended learning
  • SAMR
  • Covid-19
  • Higher education


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