What is Blended Learning? - Definition & Models

Instructor: Monica Gragg

Monica has taught college-level courses in Tourism, HR and Adult Education. She has a Master's in Education and is three years into a PhD.

In this lesson we'll learn how blended learning disrupts the traditional classroom to provide more engaging and meaningful learning experiences for K-12 students. We'll also discuss the various types of models and how to integrate a blended environment.

Definition of Blended Learning

Did you know that our present K-12 students were born after the World Wide Web came out in 1991? Imagine how technology has made their childhoods vastly different from yours. Today's 14-year-old was born in 2001, the same year a human received the first artificial heart. In 2007, more babies where born in the U.S. than at any other time in our history. But what will 2007 be remembered for? The first iPhone. Our K-12 students only know a life with technology, so you can see why blended learning is not a trend but the new pedagogy.

Blended learning is a mix of e-learning with classroom instruction. Both environments are partly or fully supervised, depending on the model. It is not a simple matter of using more technology in the classroom or assigning homework that requires using the Internet or other technologies. Blended learning is a more robust teaching model that is adopted by a school or an individual classroom. It is still formal learning, as students are assessed on what they learned both online and face-to-face.

Desirable Qualities of Blended Learning

The most obvious reason why schools and teachers enjoy a blended learning model is that it increases engagement. More than half of children 8-12 years old have a phone or smartphone, which is like having a handheld computer. With blended learning students can use their smartphones for classroom activities and learn online at their own pace.

This may sound like a matter of convenience, but engagement is a powerful technique. In a blended learning environment students are continuously connected to the content. Many learning styles are stimulated through various technologies and digital media, helping the students comprehend, retain, and apply information.

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