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Online Lab Model in Blended Learning: 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.

How can technology be used to improve learning? This lesson explores the online lab model of blended learning. We will also learn about one special school that uses this model successfully.

What Is Blended Learning?

Have you ever taught a class where computers were required? How about internet access? Most teachers use these things on a regular basis. This indicates the popularity of blended learning.

Blended learning occurs when traditional teaching methods are enriched with the use of technology. There are many different models of blended learning. They all use technology but in different ways and to different degrees.

Now that we know what blended learning is, let's take some time to look at one specific type of blended learning: the online lab model.

The Online Lab Model Of Blended Learning

Imagine a school where students complete most learning in a computer lab housed in a traditional school. The teaching is done remotely online, but the facility itself is supervised by non-instructional staff who monitors behavior and attendance. This is an example of the online lab model of blended learning. This model is very useful in rural areas and when schools have limited resources.

The online lab model of blended learning delivers most, if not all, content remotely. This is different from strictly online learning in that students gather in a traditional setting to access the computers. However, no face-to-face teachers are required.

The online lab model allows for differentiation in education because each student in the classroom can be learning different things at different levels. Furthermore, course options are not limited to available teaching staff. Therefore, students have access to nearly unlimited options in learning and staff are limited to those needed to supervise the facility.

Now that we understand what the online lab model looks like, let's explore one program that is successfully using this model.

Example of The Online Lab Model

Have you ever visited a rural school? Often these schools are small and sparsely populated and may lack resources. These types of schools simply do not have a great number of options for students in terms of course offerings, teaching staff, and extracurricular activities. Imagine if students who live in rural areas could plug in to a bigger opportunity for learning with the help of their school's computer lab. They might be able to take a course that isn't offered on campus or join a club with students from around the globe. This represents the online lab model of blended learning at its finest.

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