Blended learning course design, a deliberate combination of face-to-face and online learning, requires a shift in thinking in what it means to teach and what it means to learn.
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Blending learning involves using a combination of face-to-face interactions and online interactions in the same course. Students still regularly meet in the classroom in a blended course, but the frequency of those meetings is usually decreased. The goal of blended learning is to facilitate greater student learning and could thus fit within a learner-centered paradigm.
Blended learning — a strategy that combines online and classroom learning activities and resources to reduce in-class seat time for students in a face-to-face environment — can be a tremendous boon for a university. It can help the institution enhance under-enrolled programs, complete faculty teaching loads, and improve cost effectiveness. However, convincing the institution’s constituents that a blended course or program is a good idea may take some work.
“Hybrid education” has become a hot catchphrase recently as faculty blend face-to-face learning with online technology. But the growth of hybrid education has been steered by the unstated assumption that hybrid technology should be used to facilitate discussion outside of the classroom, while classroom time should be spent lecturing.
Blended learning, which combines face-to-face and online learning activities into a single course, has experienced tremendous growth during the past few years. A blended learning course (also called a hybrid course) can satisfy students’ need for flexibility, as well as alleviate overcrowded classrooms. However, the biggest benefit to a well-designed blended course is a much improved teaching and learning experience.
Preparing students for the online learning experience and managing expectations are critical to student satisfaction, says Marie Gould, assistant professor and program manager of Business
A few years ago, our university started accelerating its distance learning program. Some professors designed courses that worked well, while others found that 100 percent
Most instructors supplement their face-to-face courses with some online learning materials such as online syllabi, handouts, PowerPoint slides, and course-related Web links. All of these can add to the learning experience, but they are merely a start to making full use of the learning potential of the online learning environment in either a hybrid or totally online course. Although there is no standard definition of a hybrid course, one characteristic that makes a course a hybrid is the use of the Web for interaction rather than merely as a means of posting materials, says LaTonya Motley, instructional technology specialist at El Camino Community College in California.