What is Blended Learning?
Blending Learning is a teaching approach where both traditional face-to-face instructional time and online or computer-mediated activities are integrated. Within a course, the online content and classroom activities are meant to complement one another, working to engage students and achieve course objectives.
Blended Learning Spectrum
Blended Learning can vary widely from classroom to classroom in its delivery of face-to-face and online content, resulting in its referral as a spectrum. In particular, The Sloan Consortium defines the range of blended learning as having anywhere between 30 to 79 percent of the course content delivered online (Allen, Seaman & Garrett, 2007, p. 5).
Introduction for Instructors
Introduction for Students
What does Blended Learning look like in the Classroom?
As Blended Learning falls onto a spectrum, there are several ways it can be delivered in a classroom. Here some of the more common ways used in post-secondary:
In the flipped classroom, generally instructors post lecture material online and assign readings for students to attend to at home. Then, once students enter the classroom, more time is devoted to student-centered activities such as discussions, simulations, role-playing scenarios, and problem solving activities. Depending on the course, this approach may mean that students spend less time in class or that the time spent in class is used for different types of activities, beyond the traditional lecture format.
In web-enhanced courses, students will attend their course at the regular scheduled time, but have additional online activities to do from home. The purpose of the additional online activities is to encourage greater student engagement with course content. Some examples of these activities could include watching videos, participating in online discussions, doing online quizzes, or completing online simulations and labs.
In flexible labs, standard scheduled labs are eliminated and students may instead go to a learning commons area where they can receive support and guidance for their lab activities if they need it.
Sometimes courses combine different types of blended learning. For example, students may attend a flipped classroom while also participating in flexible labs.