Online Driver Model: Definition, Application & Examples

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Blended learning combines traditional instruction with technology. The online driver model is one such option. This lesson will define the online driver model and describe its applications through examples.

Blended Learning

Was technology a big part of the way you learned in school? Is it important in the way you teach? Historically, most formal education took place in the traditional school setting. Nowadays though, technology has changed everything and formal education can take place anywhere in the world through remote access. Blended learning is the meeting place of these two ways of educating students.

Blended learning combines traditional instruction with technology to transform teaching. The U.S. Department of Education reports increased learning outcomes and more individualization for students in blended learning environments. There are many types of blended learning. Some bring technology to the traditional school setting through computers to enhance the traditional learning environment, like putting computers in a science lab to view digital models. Others replace the traditional classroom with online classrooms, where the student can 'go' to class anywhere as long as they have a computer with them.

Now that we understand what blended learning is, let's take a closer look at one specific approach to blended learning: the online driver model.

The Online Driver Model

Tara is in tenth grade and is taking a Spanish class online. Sometimes from home or even on the bus she logs in to the virtual class each week to see her assignments. She usually works through the assignments independently, but today she came across an issue with conjugation. She emailed the teacher and scheduled an online chat so they could work out the problem. Tara is in a blended learning class that uses the online driver model.

The online driver model relies on technology as the primary means of delivering course materials. Most, if not all, instruction takes place remotely in this model. Teachers provide guidance, support and may serve as a resource for students in times of need, but they do not usually have face-to-face contact. In short, they become facilitators of learning. Accordingly, students complete and submit assignments remotely using a computer, tablet, or even a smartphone.

The online driver model offers immense flexibility because teachers and students can work from their homes, in different countries, or anywhere else with an internet connection at anytime. It may also reduce the costs associated with education because the need for physical space and resources is reduced.

Finally, it provides opportunities for personalization of course materials, thereby increasing the learning experience for students. For example, students may be able to choose from a list of available resources for completing an assignment. This helps to make learning more individualized.

Now that we understand what the online driver model is and how it works, let's take a look at how two schools use this model.

The Online Driver Model In Action

Imagine if you, as a student, had the option to attend some classes in a traditional way, while others are completed remotely? Now think of what this might look like as a teacher with some classes meeting face-to-face and others remotely. Many school districts across America are making this a possibility for teachers and students via the online driver model of blended learning.

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