Blended learning is evolving in education. Through the combination of face-to-face learning with online activities, overtly, it appears to be the perfect blend of formal and self-directed education. Bart (2010) indicates blended learning is an alternative to traditional learning, overcrowded classrooms and is cost-effective (para 1). The article does elaborate on the fiscal savings. Bart (2010) explains preparation for the educator increases, in a blended classroom requiring discipline to adhere to the lesson plan. An increased workload yielding cost-savings will undoubtedly not be seen by the instructor but possibly by the institution in overhead.
Blended learning is structured to provide the learner in depth guidance in the course. Bart (2010) explains, explicit instructions, class guides and learning goals are outlined as weekly expectations for the student. The onus is on the learner to prepare, prior to class, then to follow-up after learning. Knowing the learning environment is blended provides the learner with the understanding there is preparation to complete and full engagement is required when in class (Bart, 2010).
This article provides an example of a blended course executed in a chemistry class. During the three year period of blended learning, the class average rose by 25 percent (Bart, 2010). The increase is attributed to more active learning activities that required more time on task as opposed to traditional lecture (Bart, 2010). This course provides online quizzes, the students have embraced, even though the total worth is minimal. The success of the quizzes maybe due to layered questions (easier are first), questions not available in the text book, randomization of questions, short-time investment, quiz bank that varies questions and following a quiz schedule (Bart, 2010).
Blended learning appears to be a positive change for educators and learners. It promotes learner success while providing variety and change for the educator. In a world thriving on technology, this classroom may be the balance needed for optimal learning.
Bart, M. (2010, March 24). The benefits of blended learning. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/edtech-news-and-trends/the-benefits-of-blended-learning/