What is the definition of blended learning? This article will explain the meaning of blended learning.
Blended learning is a mix of e-learning with classroom instruction. Both environments are partly or fully supervised, depending on the model. It is not a simple matter of using more technology in the classroom or assigning homework that requires using the Internet or other technologies. Blended learning is a more robust teaching model that is adopted by a school or an individual classroom. It is still formal learning, as students are assessed on what they learned both online and face-to-face.
Does Blended Learning Work?
Not all students learn the same way. This is not a particularly novel concept, but it is an important one. The tech publication PFSK notes that even early childhood education programming, like Sesame Street, recognizes this, and therefore design programming in a way that reaches auditory, visual and kinetic learners alike. Students never outgrow their learning styles, so why do traditional college classrooms fail to engage all of them?
This is blended learning’s real strength: it transforms a largely transmissive method of teaching–say, a professor lecturing for what feels like an eternity–into a truly interactive one. It sounds ideal on paper, but does it work? A 2010 meta-analysis published by the U.S. Department of Education suggests it does. According to the report, students exposed to both face-to-face and online education were more successful than students entirely in one camp or the other. You can also read the Blended Learning – Advantages and Disadvantages
The Three Essential Components Of Blended Learning
Cover of book “Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools”Blended learning is not just about adding more tech tools to a classroom. Rather, it consists of three separate ideas:
- It’s part of a formal learning program using online learning that gives students some control over the time, place, path and/or pace of the learning.
- At least part of the learning happens in a supervised, brick-and-mortar location.
- The learning experience integrates online and face-to-face learning.
- Classrooms filled wall-to-wall with computers, smart boards or other devices are not necessarily blended learning environments. A true blended environment must have all three components: student control, brick-and-mortar learning, and integration of online and in-person instruction.
Current Models Of Blended Learning
- Rotation: This is the first model most teachers turn to, as it is similar to the common strategy of moving children between activities.
- Station rotation: This model rotates between activities in the class, including small-group direct instruction, individual learning, and independent activities. This becomes blended learning when technology facilitates class activities.
- Lab rotation: One of the more aggressive (and disruptive) models of blended learning, this model has students spend up to 25 percent of their school day in a learning lab with technology to practice necessary skills. This, in turn, frees up teacher time to offer individualized instruction to needier students.
- Flipped classroom: Popularized by Khan Academy, the flipped classroom rotation model expects children to review and learn the broad information at home, and then use the classroom time to apply the knowledge. It also enables the teacher to individualize instruction.
- Individual rotation: As the name implies, this model expects the students to take part in the most personal of learning activities. Technology helps to establish which learning areas need more emphasis and which ones have been mastered.
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