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Blended Learning

Blended Learning is learning which combines online and face-to-face approaches. The following material resulted from an ANTA-funded project which set out to investigate blended learning through a series of interviews with teachers.

 
Blended Learning



 

Exemplar 1 illustrates the importance of the way you manage the module (e.g., announcements, promotion, providing 'to do' lists for students, the ways students are grouped).

Exemplar 2 illustrates the difference between courses which are mainly based on content and pre-structured exercises, and those which give more emphasis to guiding learners through a process.

Exemplar 3 illustrates the way that a single course can be delivered with different proportions of face-to-face and online.

Exemplar 4 illustrates a nice balance between orderliness and control, on the one hand, and self-direction and reflection on the other.

Exemplar 5 illustrates the value of flexibility and a 'can do' attitude in finding ways around problems.

Exemplar 6 illustrates approaches and issues relevant to learners who are not familiar with computers or learning online.

Exemplar 7 illustrates the challenges of finding a comfortable mix of maintaining control and letting students work independently at their own pace.

Exemplar 8 illustrates careful phasing in of online learning, in a way that builds learner confidence.

Exemplar 9 illustrates some of the platforms that are available to support learner groups.

Exemplar 10 illustrates how a variety of learning ingredients can be blended into a rich mix which draws heavily on industry links and expertise.

Exemplar 11 illustrates how a specialized online resource can be developed and used to provide a valuable supplement to face-to-face teaching.

Exemplar 12 illustrates that even young students, who are often stereotyped as being computer-savvy, may in fact lack confidence in using computers, and may need considerable face-to-face support.

Exemplar 13 illustrates learner management issues, including co-ordinating classes, contending with different ability levels, and dealing with inappropriate student comments during chat.

Exemplar 14 illustrates the supportive value of the classroom environment when learners are first starting to go online.

Exemplar 15 illustrates the value of initiatives such as LearnScope and Flexible Leaders as catalysts of changing mindsets and practices about training and learning.

Exemplar 16 illustrates the careful thought that can go into designing an online module, not only in terms of the 'look', but in terms of achieving a balance between flexibility and structure.

Exemplar 17 illustrates ways of making learning involving, interactive and, most of all, fun.

Exemplar 18 illustrates using forums, and providing answers to Frequently Asked Questions, in order to limit email demands on teachers.

Exemplar 19 contains many suggestions for promoting and conducting a subject for sophisticated computer-users online.

Exemplar 20 illustrates the way in which a tailor-made website can encourage students to start using a whole range of other relevant sites.

Exemplar 21 illustrates that you can build in too much flexibility and too many options, with negative results.

Exemplar 22 gives a clear outline of ingredients that led to a successful program for indigenous school students studying Retail Operations.

The full set of material is also available as booklets in pdf format:

Booklet 1 Learning new skills in blending (pdf 365kb)
Ways of developing your skills in blending
Booklet 2 Lessons from experience (pdf 606kb)
Suggestions for dealing with the challenges you'll face when you combine online and face-to-face approaches
Booklet 3 The Exemplars (pdf 363kb)
Accounts of blended learning
Booklet 4 Glossary of terms and courses (pdf 180kb)

 

Interviewees were encouraged to reflect on their blending practices and on what they'd learnt along the way. In every case the teachers quoted are out there doing it, exploring how they can take advantage of the possibilities of computers and the Internet.