Blended Learning (Hybrid learning)
Blended learning, a thoughtful integration of classroom face to face learning experiences with online learning experiences. The internet information and communication technologies are defining and transforming innovation for higher education in the 21st century (Garrison & Anderson, 2003). Some of the favourable potential use of blended learning. include
● The ability of online learners to be both together and apart and to be connected to a community of learners anytime around the globe
● Internet information and communication tools provide flexibility of time and place in the real world
● The combination of synchronous and asynchronous written communication, blended learning provides and advantage in supporting higher levels of learning through critical dialogue and reflective learning which is widely accepted as higher order learning.
● A blended learning framework provides capacity that empowers the learner with independence and increased self-control vital to critical thinking
● It has been argued that asynchronous computer-mediated conferencing supports flexibility, reflection, interpersonal and teamwork skill development, motivation, and collaborative learning environments resulting in deep and meaningful understandings and communities of inquiry (Garrison & Anderson, 2003)
● Online courses increase participation and engagement in student learning, otherwise, face to face discussions encourages energy and enthusiasm that are spontaneous and contagious
The downside to blended education appears to be the fact that
● There is little attention and focus on the challenges of the classroom, increasing opportunities, and hypothesizing the properties and potential of blended learning approaches
● Financial resources are needed to provide effective and efficient necessary to initiate and support blended learning initiatives, human resources are essential for the development and delivery of blended courses, creation of clear institutional policy, assembly of an innovation fund.
Trends and insights on Blended learning
The rapid emergence of technological innovations over the last century has a huge impact on the possibilities for learning in the distributed environment. There is an increasing focus on facilitating human interaction in the form of computer-supported collaboration, virtual communities, instant messaging, blogging etc. There is an ongoing research investigating how to make machines and computer interfaces more social and human. The social part can be manageable if instructors teach at a pace that most students are comfortable with. Being a basic degree clinical instructor, my student target group is often comprehend computer technology innovation with ease, there is certainly little challenge in their part with technology, However, in my personal experience(a generation of baby boomers) learning information can be overwhelming to the students that are not technologically informed, their engagement may be affected by lack of technological expertise. As the world is constantly challenged by the rapid technological information that is developed throughout the competitive computer technology environment; some argue that accessing and using information is fundamental to functioning well in todays’ world, yet information overload may be difficult for some learners to process as well as the web language that is changing, for example tweets, emoticons have become standard way of communication (Merriam & Bierema 2013). Although emergence of the web tools are essential, I believe the face to face instructions remains an important method that will help produce effective student learning outcome.
Changing roles of teachers on online learning
The role of the teachers has shifted from dominators to facilitators. As facilitators, the teachers provided students with support frameworks to meet their needs. The role of the students shifted from passive to active learners as they became self-regulated to raise questions and interacted with their peers to improve their summaries. On the face to face instruction the class is controlled by the teacher, the students has less opportunity to create a community. Students create community through variable means including blogging and interacting (Yang, 2014).
Blended teaching enhances the interaction between teachers and students and among students themselves. Teachers become one of the participants in the students learning process. During a face to face learning instruction, students may feel pressured and lack confidence in providing their peers with suggestions and comments. They may have anxiety which affects their participation(Yang. 2014).
The classroom teacher can get feedback from her/his students by observing online participation and log files, although in reality have noticed that this stance does not endorse full participation of the student or fully help the teachers to observe whether students have revised their original drafts into final ones after the teacher and peers suggestions. For example, students that are engaged in online forums, may not fully express their knowledge because of the time frame that may affect the amount of information the student can get hold of to be able to effectively participate on the forum. Teachers are able to give feedback on line directly using an online system without the limitation of space and time.
I had a fascinating web-experience with my learning partner. He focused on flipped classroom education. I think lectures can be stimulating for me as an educator because I will be having an opportunity to learn as well as developing a milestone on how to video tape lectures for my lessons. I find flipped classroom interesting because watching a video may have a potential to stimulate and motivate student’s attention. We commonly found that blended learning had a great opportunity that can help us develop our technological sphere as well as engage effectively with our students.
There are key intrinsic and extrinsic factors that have a potential in affecting effective online learning, intrinsic factors like determination or lack of, strong self-esteem or poor self esteem have a potential to influence learning, stress and time management can affect performance in blended learning
As teachers we need to consider encouraging a sense of community and belonging to the learners by promoting interaction by engaging perceived unengaged learners
Bonk, C. J. & Graham, C. R. (2004) (Eds.) Handbook of blended learning: Global Perspectives,
local designs. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer Publishing.
Garrison, D. R. & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended Learning: Uncovering its transformative
potential in higher education. Internet and Higher Education (7) 2 pp.95-105
Garrison, D. R., & Anderson, T. (2003). E-learning in the 21st century: A framework for
research and practice. London: Routledge/Falmer.
Merriam, S. B., & Bierema, L.L. (2013). Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice. Kindle
edition 2012. Amazon.com
Yang, Yu-Feng. (2014) Preparing language teachers for blended teaching of summary writing: Computer Assisted Language Learning (27) 3. DOI:10.1080/09588221.2012.701633