Blended Learning is one of those buzz words that education loves to throw around, but what exactly does blended learning mean? Blended learning can be defined by many different scenarios. Blended learning occurs when a piece of traditional face-to-face instruction is replaced by online learning. Blended Learning is when students use a device to access educational resources (websites, simulations, videos, apps) that support educational development. Blended learning can be a successful model because blended learning offers personalized learning experiences for individual students and because it addresses differentiated learning styles.
How much of the classroom experience can be replaced with blended learning? The answer depends on the material, the classroom, the subject, and the learning objectives. An instructor might spend 15 minutes creating web-based instruction for the students. The students might watch the instruction at home or in the classroom. With students watching the lesson on their devices, this provides ample time for students to work on the assignment. Additionally, this frees up the instructor to assist and support the learners.
When using blended learning strategies, it is helpful to use a collaboration tool, such as Google Apps for Education (GSuite). Blended learning could incorporate the use of a class website, which would build a sense of community that is important when connecting in-course and online learning. With blended learning, students can work on assignments away from the classroom, giving them more time for actual work. Most importantly, blended learning can be fun and engaging as students learn in different and exciting ways.