A Retro Perspective on Blended/Hybrid Learning: Systematic Review, Mapping and Visualization of the Scholarly Landscape

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JOURNAL OF INTERACTIVE MEDIA IN EDUCATION, vol.2022, no.1, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 2022 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.5334/jime.751
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: blended learning, hybrid learning, flexible learning, learning modalities, onsite and online learning, HIGHER-EDUCATION, SATISFACTION, PERCEPTIONS, STUDENTS, TRENDS, ENVIRONMENT, IMPACT
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


The blending learning model, a combination of onsite and online learning modalities formulated by relevant pedagogies, modalities, and technologies, offers learning experiences that involve the different factors shaping each modality, such as time, space, path, and pace, through sequential or parallel designs. In its relatively short history, this model has attracted much attention in the educational landscape. In this context, the main aim of this study is to conduct a systematic review of blended learning research by applying data mining and analytic approaches to identify the bibliometric trends and patterns and the thematic patterns in blended learning research and to present its intellectual structure. In brief, the results indicated that interest in blended learning research has remained steady, and that this interest peaked during the Covid-19 pandemic, when blended learning was applied to meet the new needs that emerged. Collaboration between social sciences and technology-related fields, as well as between health and medicine fields, has shaped the interdisciplinary approach to the subject. Trend analysis revealed that teacher training is a crucial factor for the success of blended learning adaptation, along with the adoption of appropriate technologies by educational institutions. Social network analysis and text mining identified four thematic patterns: (I) The comparison of online and onsite learning to benchmark the effectiveness and efficiency of modalities, (II) technology-mediated blended learning experiences, (III) teacher training and curriculum development to overcome the challenges of blended learning, and (IV) dominance of the positivist paradigm in blended learning research. From the bibliometric analysis of the intellectual structure of blending learning and the determination of pivotal contributions to the subject, three emerging patterns were identified: (I) widespread theoretical and conceptual discussions, (II) higher education-oriented research, and (III) the tendency to adopt a quantitative research paradigm.