Blended 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.
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