Blended Learning Strategies

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  • 0:03 What Is Blended Learning?
  • 1:20 Models for Blended Learning
  • 2:15 Strategies for Blended…
  • 4:07 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Harkema

Becca teaches special education and is completing her doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

Many schools are incorporating blended learning into their curriculum. In this lesson, you'll learn the definition of blended learning and strategies for fostering a blended learning environment.

What Is Blended Learning?

Do you remember the childhood story of Goldilocks and the three bears? The parts of the story we all remember are when Goldilocks tried three different chairs or three different beds. One was always too small, one was always too big, and one was just right. That's what I think of when I think of blended learning: it is the option that is just right.

Blended learning is just right because it combines elements of face-to-face instruction with elements of online instruction. The online element of a blended class can take place in the actual classroom, in a computer lab, or even at home.

Schools include blended learning into their curriculum for many reasons. Some of these include:

  • It allows teachers to personalize instruction because students can work through material at their own pace.
  • It prepares students to collaborate in an online environment.
  • It expands the boundaries of the classroom because students can work with peers from other classrooms or schools in an online environment.

Now that we know what blended learning is and why it is used, we will review the common models for a blended class environment.

Models for Blended Learning

There are four models that schools can choose from when using blended learning. These four models are the rotation model, the flex model, the a la carte model, and the enriched virtual model. Let's take a look at each of these models.

  • In the rotation model, students rotate through different types of learning activities, with one of the activities being online instruction. Sometimes the online instruction will take place in the actual classroom or it will occur in a computer lab. One special type of rotation model is the flipped classroom. In a flipped classroom, students participate in online activities before each class session.

  • In the flex model, students engage in online instruction while they are in the classroom. Students can work at their own pace while teachers are available for individual help or guidance.

  • In the a la carte model, students receive face-to-face instruction for most of their classes, but they may take one or two classes completely online.

  • And finally, in the enriched virtual model, students complete most of the work for the class online, but they do have a few face-to-face class sessions.

In the next section, we will review teaching strategies that support a blended learning environment.

Strategies for Blended Learning

There are many strategies teachers can use to support a blended classroom environment. Let's go over a few:

One strategy that might be used is referred to video or screencast Instruction. In this case, before students attend a face-to-face class session, you might consider posting a related video or brief screencast about the lesson's content. This video can introduce the students to the topic and teach some of its basic concepts.

When using online content to introduce lesson material, the key is to use a variety. Watching videos every day can get boring, so try to incorporate different tools such as videos, screencasts, website reviews, or online simulations.

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