I am currently doing the BlendKit MOOC through canvas.net. Our first task has been to read an introductory article on what is considered blended learning. The authors of this reading highlight that there is no agreed definition for blended learning in the Higher Education sector. This really struck a cord with me, those of you who know me will know I often say the same when asked for a standard definition for e-learning. Personally, I think context plays a very important role in what we do as educators and there is ‘no one-size fits’ all approach to training and education so it is not surprising we can’t always agree on a standard definition.
The article encourages to ponder the question
“Is it most helpful to think of blended learning as an online enhancement to a face-to-face learning environment, a face-to-face enhancement to an online learning environment, or as something else entirely?”
Again, context plays an important role in the answer to this question. If you are a teacher who teaches mostly in a face to face learning environment, offering blended learning solutions might be an enhancement to your current teaching strategies. You might find your learners can’t always attend classes at the time they are scheduled. They may increasingly be seeking more flexible ways to complete their learning outside of the classroom. If this is the case you could use a learning platform like Edmodo (free, quick sign up and has some excellent strategies for keeping our youngest learners safe in the online environment) or a learning management system (LMS) like Moodle to make your class resources available for those who are unable to attend.
In my world, blended learning allows me to customise my training solutions to meet the needs of the learners I am currently working with. I tend to use a LMS, interactive PDFS or e-books, quizzes, videos, blogs and discussion forums (for self-reflection and feedback).
So my definition might be:
“Blended learning provides teachers, facilitators and learners the means to offer training in a way that best meets the needs of those involved in the training program. It combines a combination of classbased and online learning teaching strategies and activities”.
How does blended learning look in your world?