Blended Learning

eLABlended learning is education that combines face-to-face classroom methods with computer-mediated activities.According to its proponents, the strategy creates a more integrated approach for both instructors and students.

The terms “blended,” “hybrid,” “technology-mediated instruction,” “web-enhanced instruction,” and “mixed-mode instruction” are often used interchangeably in current research literature.However, recent researchers in the United States tend to use the term “blended learning” with more regularity.

What is Blended?

A blended learning approach combines face to face classroom methods with computer-mediated activities to form an integrated instructional approach. In the past, digital materials have served in a supplementary role, helping to support face to face instruction.

For example, a blended approach to a traditional, face to face course might mean that the class meets once per week instead of the usual three-session format. Learning activities that otherwise would have taken place during classroom time can be moved online.

As of now, there is no consensus on a single agree-upon definition for blended learning. The Resources page contains cites to several articles that provide definitions. In addition, the terms “blended,” “hybrid,” and “mixed-mode” are used interchangeably in current research literature. For the purposes of AeLSNet , the term “blended” is preferred.

Why Blend?

The goal of a blended approach is to join the best aspects of both face to face and online instruction. Classroom time can be used to engage students in advanced interactive experiences.  Meanwhile, the online portion of the course can provide students with multimedia-rich content at any time of day, anywhere the student has internet access, from Penn State computer labs, the coffee shop, or the students’ homes. This allows for an increase in scheduling flexibility for students.

In addition to flexibility and convenience for students, according to research shared at the ALN Conference Workshop on Blended Learning & Higher Education November 17, 2005, there is early evidence that a blended instructional approach can result in learning outcome gains and increased enrollment retention

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About Jens Schneider

1-Minute Elevator Brief Jens Schneider from Namibia is the founder and Managing Director of AeLSNet (Africa eLearning Service Network), an online new media learning resource centre. In addition, Jens heads Studyeeze, an organisation committed to improving learning and study-methods among learners in Africa and is co-founder of The 4x4 Diet, a health and lifestyle improvement programme. Jens is one of the rare-breed 21st Century specialists : New Media Learning expert, public speaker and training facilitator in eLearning and Organisational Development. Jens develops and implements a broad range of e-training and eLearning development projects for the educational sector, various government ministries and the corporate sector throughout Africa and specialises in good governance , public administration, network building, eLearning centre establishment, eStrategy and policy development, eLearning capacity building, website design and LMS administration, online course authoring and implementation. Academia He is a Communication Science graduate from RAU/UJ and UNISA and as well as the Public Administration Senior Management Course (SMDP) from NIPAM and Stellenbosch University School of Public Leadership. Jens lectured at the University of Applied Science in Ludwigshafen and the University of Heilbronn, Germany. In Namibia, he lectured Academic Writing and Communication Skills at the University of Namibia (UNAM) before he naturally gravitated towards the world of eLearning as a full time professional. He is an alumnus of the InWEnt/GIZ e-Skills training programme in Instructional Design, Content Development, Virtual Learning and eLearning Management, and is a content author, online tutor and training facilitator. As an InWEnt/GIZ trained moderator, Jens facilitates organisational development, eLearning network and strategy development workshops in Namibia, Angola, South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, Ghana, Manila, Philippines, Georgia-Caucasus, as well as presenting on new media integration and eLearning topics at international conferences throughout Africa and Europe. New Media Learning Jens manages AeLSNet, an expanding network of organisations and qualified eLearning experts supporting public, educational and corporate sector learning and training. With the international head quarters in Windhoek, Namibia, the primary focus of AeLSNet is on integrating eLearning in education and adult learning in Africa. Based on a multi-stakeholder approach, AeLSNet coordinates e-learning activities with educational institutions, provides training and capacity building to teachers and trainers, and acts as the digital library of electronic course content. The AeLSNet Learning Resource Centre (, provides members with a platform for hosting and administrating online training courses and functions as a course repository for open learning courses for capacity building in the educational, environmental, health and corporate sectors. Government institutes, organisations and individual training providers,use AeLSNet as a secure and cost-effective solution for hosting their training courses on ePortal Africa. ePortal Africa All AeLSNet online training happens on the ePortal Africa (www.aelsnet/eportal) which is the continental hub of online courses from network members throughout Africa: a convenient one-stop new media learning and training space for organisations, institutes and individuals. Jens is the developer and administrator of ePortal Africa, which runs on a stable and secure Moodle LMS framework.

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