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2 Tutorials that teach Blended Learning
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Blended Learning

Blended Learning

Author: Trisha Fyfe

This lesson provides students with an overview of the definitions of blended learning, 1:1 and BYOD classrooms.

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Source: Image of light bulb, Public Domain,

Video Transcription

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Welcome to a tutorial on blended learning. In this tutorial, we will discuss the following questions. What is blended learning? Why is it important for teachers to understand blended learning? And, what are the six types of blended learning?

Let's start with the question, what is blended learning. It's important to note that there are different variations of the definitions and terminology used with blended learning and integration of technology in instruction.

So for the purpose of consistency, we will use the definition that blended learning, or hybrid learning, involves the integration of technology with traditional face-to-face instructional activities in a purposeful way that's connected to the objectives of the lesson or unit. Blended learning is an instructional approach that must be grounded in pedagogy. Remember Shulman's idea of PCK, or pedagogical content knowledge and also Marzano's nine instructional strategies and those 41 key elements.

So blended learning is purposeful, connected to the objectives, and grounded in pedagogy. The purpose of blended learning is to increase personalisation, increase collaboration, and increase differentiation. Blended learning embraces a student-centered classroom that is not centered around a lecture chalk and talk, but instead values active student participation and learning.

There are six types of blended learning. Those six types of blended learning are face-to-face driver, rotation, flex, online lab, self-blend, and online driver. Let's take a moment to discuss each of these models. Face-to-face driver is teacher-led learning. The teacher integrates technology as determined, and this model allows for flexibility. Students can work at their own pace.

Let's take this example. A student who is above or below grade level can work from additional materials using technology in the classroom. So here, the teacher is leading the learning and defining the curriculum, but also has some flexibility. In the next type of learning, rotation, students have a schedule that requires them to move between online and traditional work or courses.

It's generally a fixed schedule, and stations can be used within this rotation. An elementary teacher might use stations for a math unit. Some stations use online or computer software activities, and some might use traditional learning activities, like completing a worksheet together as a group or using time for small group teacher-led lectures.

The next type of learning is flex, and this is where most of the instruction is online, but the students have access to a teacher as needed. It's very self-guided and independent. An example of this might be a school supporting a large number of at risk learners using this model to have students work within a classroom while using self-guided lessons. The teacher helps students one on one, offering tutoring or assistance.

The next type of learning is the online lab, and this is where students will take all of their classes in an online course, but in a traditional school setting or a lab. An example of this is schools that face budget restraints choosing to offer lab time for students to work on course work not offered at that location.

The next type of learning is self-blend. Students supplement their traditional school with online courses that they choose. So traditional school is attended, but students also choose to supplement. This is popular for high school student electives or advanced placement classes.

An example is students that take electives that are not offered at their school through online programs or courses while they're still attending their traditional classes at school. The last type of blended learning is the online driver, and this where students work entirely online at home and the material is delivered primarily online.

The students might have in-person check-ins with the school, and this model promotes flexibility and independence. An example is students who need more flexibility or independence taking courses from home. A teacher is available to chat online as needed or, again, in-person check-ins might be used with the school. So let's take a moment to reflect and apply these ideas.

Which type of blended learning have you experienced in your own education? What do you think the challenges of using blended learning might be? Let's talk about what we learned today. In this tutorial, we discussed what blended learning was. And remember, it's that hybrid learning, or the integration of technology and traditional face-to-face instructional activities, in that purposeful way.

So we're connecting it to the objectives at all times. It's important for teachers to understand blended learning because it's a very flexible and useful tool for including active student participation activities and learning into your class. Remember the six types of blended learning are face-to-face driver, rotation, flex, online lab, self-blend, and online driver.

Thanks for joining me today as we discussed blended learning. I hope you're able to apply these ideas to your own classroom. To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the additional resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links that are targeted towards helping you discover more ways to apply all of this course material.

Notes on "Blended Learning"


(00:00- 00:14) Introduction/objectives

(00:15 - 01:25) What is Blended Learning?

(01:26- 01:39) Types of Blended Learning

(01:40- 02:07) Face-to-face driver

(02:08- 02:38) Rotation

(02:39- 03:03) Flex

(03:04- 03:22) Online Lab

(03:23- 03:49) Self-blend

(03:50- 04:17) Online driver

(04:18- 04:29) Reflection/application questions

(04:30- 05:32) Review 

Additional Resources

Project Red 1:1 Findings

According to Project Red there are nine factors to consider in the implementation of 1:1. This site explains those factors and offers strategies to education success measures. Project Red is a very helpful site for any educator or district moving to 1:1.

Blend My Learning Videos

These videos include examples of each type of blended learning. In addition, the videos illustrate how each blended learning model looks in the classroom in action.

New Schools and Innovative Delivery

This white paper by Michael B. Horn and Meg Evans examines innovative approaches to 21st century learning in schools. The authors suggest recommendations for designing technology rich classrooms based upon the case study of the Milwaukee Schools.