Blended Learning

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NOTE:  This video was created by Osmosis.

Blended Learning

In this content delivery model, the student accesses content and instruction through a blend of face-to-face instruction and digital learning opportunities.

It requires the physical presence of both teacher and student, with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace.

Key aspects of Blended Learning

  • More personalized learning environment.
  • Students consume content on their own time at their own pace, leaving class time for homework, group work, and activities.
  • Work assignments in class allows for active work over passive listening.
  • Facilitated group work (more constructive)
  • Traditional = “time-based” learning / Blended can be “mastery-based” learning.
  • Tie in-class material to what was learned outside of class (online or in textbook)
  • Teacher à Optimized face-to-face time.
  • Requires buy in by both parties

Using a modified flipped learning instructional model

Flipped Learning is an instructional model where direct instruction is delivered digitally (video, audio, reading) so it can be accessed during independent time. It is a very efficient teaching method because it:

  • Allows face-to-face classroom time to focus on learning and practice tasks instead if information dissemination
  • Takes the focus off of the teacher and gets the students to use what they have learned in a controlled and supervised environment, either individually or in groups.
  • Gives teachers more time to interact with students one-to-one and in small groups.

Teachers using blended or flipped models need to adjust their teaching practices from traditional methods to best use their class-time:

  • Avoid the “presentation station” in the classroom, such as chalkboard, whiteboard, smart-board, or podium. These are not centers of learning.
  • Be the Guide on the side, not sage on the stage. This means to use your time in class being among the students, not lecturing from the front of the classroom.
  • Change the process of learning. Allow them to centre their learning on themselves with an expert in the room (you).
  • Remember and include the 4C skills:
    Critical thinking

Create classroom routines. We are creatures of habit. Routines are especially important in classrooms. Change up some of the routines when coming into class so activities such as pair-work, forming groups, spelling tests, speaking in front of others etc. become automatic.

Classroom instructional activities for blended learning

Help with more difficult concepts

Part of learning is being outside of your comfort zone. This does not mean, however, that a student should be so uncomfortable that they cannot succeed. Explain in detail some of the more “hard” content.

Correct when needed

When learning without direct teaching, students may get off track or misunderstand key concepts. Part of your time circulating through groups or individuals should be spent ensuring understanding, and correcting any misconceptions as they come up.

Check for understanding

Question the students often on the key points by asking individuals about the content. Often, if one student has a question or is unclear about something, others are too. You can address the students as a large group at the beginning of class, ask questions as you circulate, or a combination of both.