3 Educators Explain How Blended Learning Benefits Their Students


Blended learning is being used in more and more classrooms at all levels. Find out why three teachers decided to start using it and the impact it had.

Blended Learning in the Classroom

Blended learning, which combines learning in a digital environment with face-to-face learning, is an increasingly popular option for teachers. But how does it help students? Three teachers share the benefits they've seen after starting to use blended learning.

Providing Around the Clock Learning

''…I started [using] blended learning in 2012. I connected with a group of progressive educators using what would become blended learning - I didn't know there was such a thing. I was looking for principals who didn't take phones from students.

We didn't have a lot of resources, so I pieced together sites, let students use their phones, and created what was my first education website so I could throw away textbooks and give students 24/7 access to course materials.

It was transformative. I realized this: the world was their classroom - and mine. I became a facilitator and mentor, not a hander-of-papers. Students were excited to learn.

Many teachers use blended learning differently--they use it to group instruction, make cohorts in the classroom, or analyze data. I used it to open the door to free 24/7 learning.''

-Dawn Casey-Rowe

A teacher helps a student during class

Keeping Information Organized

'''I decided to use blended learning because it made things easier for me and my students. With students being responsible for assignments for 5-6 classes, using blended learning made it easier for them to keep classes and assignments organized. It also makes it easier for me to grade assignments quickly.

I teach a health class that uses interactive notebooks. As I discuss the lesson in class, students complete worksheets for their notebooks. Assessments of the lessons are given as homework through platforms such as Google Classroom (which also grades the assignments). I can also upload notes and announcements in case students missed something in class.

Blended learning has helped with keeping digital information organized. Google Classroom organizes the assignments by categories (such as Bellwork, Homework, etc.) and by date. Students get a notification when an assignment is given and an alert when it is due. Considering I teach about 250 students, this helps out a lot.

I also recommend blended learning for students with modifications. They are able to work outside of the classroom at their own pace if extra time is needed. It also gives them digital copies of their assignments and notes.''

-Monica Simpson, 7th and 8th Grade Health Teacher

A college student uses a computer

Improving Discussions

'''For the past 15 years, I've been teaching sociology classes at the college level. Concerned that classroom conversations were increasingly being dominated by several outspoken students, a few years ago I began blending my classes by implementing weekly Moodle discussion boards that I pay to host through Elearning Experts.

These online discussions ensure all students have a voice in the classroom and serve as tool to bring in additional readings, videos, and to incorporate weekly writing assignments. Every two weeks or so, students are told to log into the Moodle discussions to answer questions related to a video we watched in class, or to read and comment on articles relevant to that week's textbook chapter. I also use the blended component if class is cancelled due to weather or if I'm out sick - I simply upload a link to a video and provide discussion questions for everyone to answer.

According to my end of term evaluations, students find the discussions to be interactive and fun. And since they're enjoying themselves, they don't realize that they easily write an additional 3,000-5,000 words each semester…!''

-Alexandrea Ravenelle, Assistant Professor, Mercy College, & Author of Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy, University of California Press

Learn more about blended learning and access related resources through this guide.

*Submissions were edited for clarity and length.

By Jessica Lyons
July 2019
teachers student engagement

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