Supplementary Student Support Services for a Blended Learning Environment: A PANT model


  • Fouzia Sultana Department of Medical Educatiom
  • Shabana Ali HOD Anatomy, Assistant Dean Riphah International University Al- Mizan Campus Rawalpindi
  • Zainab Furrukh FCPS-Part I Trainee Shifa International Hospital


Objective: To explore the expectations of the medical students regarding the support services in the blended learning environment.

Method: the qualitative exploratory study was conducted at four institutes where blended learning was adopted during the covid-19 Pandemic. The participants were selected through convenience sampling while both male and female students from second-year MBBS to final-year MBBS were included. Five Focus Group discussions were conducted with ten students in each group. The discussion was recorded and written by a note-taker. The recorded data was transcribed. Thematic data analysis was done manually.

Results: Themes were encapsulated under four main categories based on commonalities across the observations.

In Psychological support, the themes were personalized support for teachers and learners, social support, supportive strategies, e-mentoring, and professional therapy.  For academic Support, the themes identified were the identification and division of courses for both face and online, more student-centered online sessions, on-campus skill labs, the role of teachers in teaching and learning, modified assessment methods, the company of peers for motivation, and the role of parents and family. In Non-academic Support, the themes were online recreational activities, online gaming gadgets, and support for differently-abled students. In Technological Support the themes identified were online interface for teaching, use of social media groups for sharing, training of senior teachers and students in information technology, and accessible digital e-resources.


Conclusion: Students need additional support while learning in a blended program which is reflected by their demands to include support in four main categories. The study highlighted the role of peers in online discussion sessions along with family support for a personalized space to study. E-resources must be provided while proper technical assistance is mandatory for a smooth learning journey.  Furthermore,  the need for psychological support was also emphasized.

Keywords: Student support services, Blended learning





Original Articles