Archive for the ‘Blended Learning’ Category
As Moore noted, blending face-to-face meetings with some form of mediated instruction is certainly not a new concept in higher education; but as technology facilitates ever increasing channels through which learning communities can interact, the advantages that this classic model seems to offer in terms of student engagement warrant further consideration from instructors, administrators, and researchers. Certainly, integrating a face-to-face component is not feasible for students who enrol in fully online courses due to geographical or other constraints on physical attendance. Moreover, fully online students bring their own particular needs and strengths to learning environments that may be to some degree compensatory. Nonetheless, and based on this research, it is important to note that critical activities such as student-student discussion may not function the same way across classroom contexts and learning communities.
With this manuscript, we argue that students’ experiences across course formats are influenced by social dynamics and relational performances that influence classroom experiences in powerful ways – these influences render simple comparisons across classroom formats untenable.
As Clayton Christensen and Michael Horn argued in Disrupting Class, insufficient money, the teachers’ unions, and large classroom size, all relevant issues, are not the root cause of our schools’ troubles. The real problem lies in the effects standardized education has had on a student’s internal and external motivation. As the authors point out, “When education is well aligned with one’s stronger intelligences, aptitudes, or styles, understanding can come more easily and with greater enthusiasm.” And as the Khan Academy has demonstrated, teachers can serve as professional coaches and content architects to help students progress in ways that they never could under most current models. Students display much more enthusiasm when they can self-direct their learning paths.
Many school districts in small, rural, and urban markets that do not have access to the breath of education available in more resource plenty areas will pull humanities, arts, economics, Chinese, and quality A.P. courses into their offerings to satisfy students’ unmet needs. We predict the online education movement will advance the same way that disruptive innovators have succeeded: by serving markets that are too costly or impossible for the incumbents to pursue, and then gradually moving “up-market.” Targeting non-consumers creates less backlash from teachers’ unions and administrators, and could even generate student referrals from incumbents themselves.
Open Educational Resources (OER) have become an unstoppable development since MIT started publishing educational resources online as OpenCourseWare (OCW) in 2001. Four years ago, the OCW Consortium was founded, and more that 250 institutions have since joined. The OCW Consortium is the largest international OER organization, but there are many other OER initiatives and organizations. At present, hundreds of higher education institutions worldwide produce, reuse, and remix educational materials. The fact that educational content is becoming more widely available—free and online—leads to the question: What role will colleges and universities play in the future? Some in higher education fear that when institutions “give away” their content, the only added value they have left is certification, turning colleges and universities from institutions of knowledge into educational certification factories.
Colleges and universities have no reason to view OER as a threat. On the contrary, OER can help institutions provide higher education to rapidly increasing numbers of students and lifelong learners. Traditional colleges and universities, with their experience and reputation, are in a good position to further develop online teaching, testing, learning communities, and certification. Those that produce high-quality knowledge, teaching, and students have little to fear, and much to gain, from Open Educational Resources.
Universities churn out lectures by the thousands, yet academics, even academics who support the use of technology in education, often go completely gaga when you even dare to question their pedagogic worth. ‘Lecturers’ will go to any lengths, apart from actual research or data, to defend ’lecturing’, confusing a channel of teaching with learning, and form with function.
You don’t have to know much about the psychology of learning to realise that a series of once-only, delivered lectures is pedagogic nonsense. We learn next to nothing from once-only experiences like unrecorded lectures. Indeed, everything we know about learning shows that repeated access to content is necessary for learning.
I am always delighted, therefore, when yet another set of data confirms the obvious fact that students gain when they are given access to recorded lectures. In this wonderful little study by Pierre Gorrisen, delivered at the ALT conference, they cleverly combined usage data with some survey and interview data to come to some clear conclusions. Their student-centred approach to the problem is refreshing. So what did they discover?
The lines between traditional face-to-face teaching and traditional distance learning programmes are blurring and “blended learning”, combining virtual with face-to-face teaching, is the latest buzz phrase.
One of the biggest developments over the past year has been the launch of high quality – and expensive – blended degree programmes.
The future of blended learning in executive education is about combining the best of online and face-to-face teaching.
Ms Downing says: “Virtual solutions can bring people together to solve problems collectively. The ultimate aim is to use technology as an enabler: to preserve and extend impact of the face-to-face experience.”
Much of the enthusiasm for the potential of blended learning comes from what is currently a math program. School of One, operating inside three New York City public middle schools, is an exciting experiment interweaving a wide range of online learning possibilities with classroom instruction. Indeed, a visitor needs only to walk into School of One’s classroom space at Intermediate School 228 in Brooklyn to see what customized education looks like. The classroom is an open space that runs the length of the building wing, but is subdivided by bookshelves into workspaces where small groups of students work with the teacher or individually with laptops. The first sight that greets the eye is an airport-style video display, listing not cities and flights, but students’ names and how they will receive their instruction during that period. For those who are starting on the computer, a press of a button will take them to a lesson provided by 1 of more than 50 content providers. Each lesson runs about half an hour, and students may switch from one content provider to another on the same skill. Others work in small groups with a teacher, who will typically oversee two or three groups of students, the content and groupings informed by data from the student’s work online.
Read also: Blended Learning – The Best of Both Worlds
In a field with lots of confusion and multiple definitions around what K–12 blended learning — sometimes called hybrid learning — is, our research suggests a simple, umbrella definition: Blended learning is any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace. Some blended-learning programs save money; others are more expensive. Some blended-learning programs produce stellar results; others do not. Definitions that preclude certain programs that clearly meet the eyeball test of being a blended-learning program erroneously narrow the term. From interviews with operators of blended-learning programs in the K–12 field, Innosight Institute pieced together some of the characteristics of this nascent segment. The programs profiled in this study, were highly varied in the way that students experienced their learning across several dimensions, including teacher roles, scheduling, physical space, and delivery methods.
This 28-page US report examines today’s digital and online offerings for public school students in Colorado, and discusses the importance of implementing a shift to a blended model of learning that combines face to face, online and digital learning. The purpose of this paper is to share where our state is today in terms of its digital and online offerings for public school students, discuss why a shift to a blended model of learning that combines face to face, online and digital learning, is an important next move for Colorado, and provide policy direction and innovative ideas to consider as the leaders of our state grapple with how to expand student access to quality online and digital learning. The first part of the paper provides an overview of the current environment in Colorado for digital learning: how many students currently utilize online learning at some capacity, the options that exist, the quality of current online offerings, and some of the strengths and challenges of Colorado’s current system for delivering content to students online. The second section identifies emergent opportunities for Colorado in the areas of blended and online learning. The final section presents policy recommendations and identifies next steps for our state to move our public schools further into the digital age.