Combined effects of role assignment and timing
The dataset and analysis results file for the study. With the purpose of improving blended learning through effective AOD design, this study conducted a two-level factorial experiment to explore the main effects and interaction effects of role assignment and timing on AOD learning outcome and experiences. In addition, this experiment examined the influence of role assignment and timing on participants’ social interaction in AOD and the effects of timing on role-specific contribution and participation in role-based discussion. A total of 114 participants in a blended course were randomly assigned to four experimental conditions: role-based pre-class discussion (n = 29), role-free pre-class discussion (n = 29), role-based post-class discussion (n = 28), and role-free post-class discussion (n = 28). The results showed that the role scripts of initiator, supporter, and arguer enhanced AOD’s learning experiences and social interaction in the blended course. Timing affected the capacity of acting and participation degree of different roles in role-based discussions. However, there was no significant interaction between the two AOD strategies.