Blended learning is an approach to education that brings together online educational materials and traditional class-based teaching. Providing students with the flexibility to customise their educational experiences and full access to learning materials both inside and outside of traditional learning environments. It can involve a combination of delivery modes, teaching approaches and learning styles. As well as a mixture of technologies with varying capabilities and applications.
The management of instruction and assessment is equally significant when teaching online as it is when in a classroom. Online platforms such as Google Classroom, Schoology and Blackboard allow teachers to communicate with students in regards to collecting assignments, receiving feedback and offering a range of learning resources to meet the diverse individualised needs of each learner. Furthermore, teachers and support staff can communicate with parents and other educational stakeholders, facilitating a large emphasis on the success of students and their educational journey.
In this type of tech integration, teachers are able to coach the journey of students along a path with controlled experience, pointing students in a direction to learn educational concepts and fulfil learning objectives. By following the lead of the teachers, learners then participate with directed instruction. An example of such activities is the completion of digital worksheets.
Teachers can facilitate collaboration between students, with student-led experiences promoting critical thinking between students as they learn and apply the educational material in a cooperative manner. Furthermore, teachers and students are able to collectively individualise learning, based on the needs of the students through the exploration of online resources and how students react to such materials. Teachers can then manage this newfound student support through online platforms that build resource libraries (that can be modified to the needs of the students) and advise individual learners or groups about the helpful resources found in the online library. As well as providing full accessibility to these learning materials, as they can be found online at any time.
Learning is complex
The success of a student’s educational journey depends on the resources available to a teacher. However, a teacher must also be able to use their expertise and assessment tools to identify the needs of students and then mould educational delivery in an effective way to ensure students are maximising their time in education. The concept of blended learning can only be effective and radical when this is the goal of all teachers and policymakers: the pursuit of meeting the needs of students.
The BLENDED LEARNING in ELT project aims to combine traditional education methods with technology-supported materials or blended learning models to: plan blended lessons; to manage distance education environments; to make the lessons interesting and keep students motivated; to increase the knowledge/skills of teachers regarding digital education; to integrate mobile devices into the lesson; to use technology more effectively and safely; through training activities taking place in five different European countries covering topics such as blended learning approaches etc. for teachers, educators and trainers. Stay tuned for more news!