What is Blended Learning?

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Blended learning is a combination of e-learning and the traditional on-site learning in a classroom. Learners have more or less fixed schedule to attend some of the classes at the educational institution and for the rest; they can make their own schedule. Students can attend the rest of the classes and complete their assignments online.

It is a student-centered approach which builds up a productive learning experience for learners who can interact with the instructors, students, and with content through integration of face-to-face and online environments (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004). It incorporates, builds and creates new materials, content, and activities in the classroom by a variety of modes such as traditional lectures and online tutorials. Blended learning can come in numerous shapes and sizes.  According to Masie (2002), blended learning can be of different models such as:

 

  • Online: Instruction occurs via an online platform, with periodic face-to-face meetings.
  • Rotation: Student rotates between self-paced online learning and face-to-face instruction.
  • Flex: Most instruction is delivered online, with teachers providing as needed support in small-group settings.
  • Personalized blend: Teacher designs face-to-face learning options. Learning is the constant and time is the variable.
  • Online lab: Instructions takes place in a  lab. Delivered by an online teacher.
  • Self-blend: Students take online courses to supplement their tradition schools face to face course catalogue.
  • Face-to-face: Teacher face-to-face instruction, supplemented with technology in the classroom or computer lab.

These multiple modals of blended learning in contrast to teacher-centered approach, provide different ways to access content. A blended approach gives learners the opportunity to become more responsible for their learning, which creates a meaningful learning on an individual level. Learners construct knowledge through personal efforts, demonstrate a thorough understanding beyond memorization, and transfer what they have learnt to new settings (Massie, 2002). Blended learning clearly brings more engaged students, motivates students for a deeper learning, and finally  extends time for learning new knowledge.

What do you think of blended learning?

 References

Garrison, D. R., & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The internet and higher education7(2), 95-105.

Masie, E. Blended Learning: the magic is in the mix. The ASTD E-Learning Handbook. Edited by: Rossett A. 2002.

2 thoughts on “What is Blended Learning?

  1. Thanks, Aigerim! (4.5/5) BL is certainly a big topic of debate these days, and it is important that we understand what it is and how it might (or might not!) be used in HE teaching. I would have to challenge one of your closing points, when you write: “Blended learning clearly brings more engaged students, motivates students for a deeper learning, and finally extends time for learning new knowledge.” My experiences with online teaching and masters students who have to work and study actually tend to be less engaged and don’t always get that “deeper learning” due to time constraints and massive work overload. Be sure to support big claims like this with evidence. This post may shed some light on student perspectives: https://nuwritersguild.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/teaching-and-learning-challenges-of-online-learning/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Aigerim, thank you for sharing this information!
    As for my thought regarding to the blended learning, I do think that more challenges than benefits occur according to the experience of my acquaintances, many of whom dropped out from the university in fact. The reasons were that they could not submit assignments on time; they were overloaded to work on two “islands” (work and study). The intensive courses provided within one month were devoid of productivity and efficiency since they were overloaded during the day and had to accomplish home works in one night for example. I remember they also were complaining that they couldn’t do them physically. Witnessing all their struggles, my preference lied on the full time study, which I am pleased to make the right choice.

    Like

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