Blended Learning is Hot!

Blended Learning is hot! Are we ready to really embrace this type of hybrid learning to engage students and help meet the demands of students seeking an education that has a little more flexibility in it’s schedule?

Reading this article Colleges Aren’t Keeping Up With Student Demand for Hybrid Programs, Survey Suggests reaffirms my notation that students crave this type of learning and can benefit greatly with all the technology and support tool associated with online learning. The finding is notable because blended education has been hot lately. In 2009, the U.S. Education Department released a report praising it. And this year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is pouring millions into supporting it.

The question is, what really can make blending learning successful? I believe bring the best of what’s working in a traditional face to face course to what helps engage students even more with a online course can lead to the best of both world in blended learning. It’s hard to say what percentage is best 50/50 or 75/25 or something completely different. Most likely it’s up to the instructor or department that is developing the course to decide based on the activities and communication methods for that particular course.

One of the benefits to administrators is the possibility to free up additional physical classroom space depending on how wisely an institutions plans out their courses. For faculty it can be the freedom having a more flexible schedule, engage students in a different way, and using classroom for more active learning activities. Student can benefit by having less  seat time with a more flexible schedule, different modes of learning available, and educational experience they are craving.

What are some of the best practices in blending learning? Can an institution adopt a few models to follow? Would blending learning fit both students and faculty who don’t cut it as totally online learners/teachers?

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