What is Blended Learning?
Blended Learning is an approach to learning and teaching which combines and aligns learning undertaken in face-to-face sessions with learning opportunities created online.
New types of learning activities challenge our thinking as to how learning might be facilitated, creating new etiquettes of learning and teaching, and shifting the locus of control from the teacher to the learner. (Littlejohn and Pegler, 2006, p4)
Blended Learning Approach
A Blended Learning approach is one, which in most cases, will enhance and extend the learning opportunities for our 21st Century learners. The JISC study In their own Words describes what uses and expectations learners have for learning and teaching with technology.
Blended Learning is a blanket term for an approach, and the University sees that the following types of blend will be most useful in providing a complete learning environment for our students. These are:
- full provision of module related documents in electronic format;
- regular formative assessment with feedback,
- opportunities to learn from each other collaboratively,
- electronic personal development planning,
- the opportunity to submit all appropriate summative assessments electronically,
- and that all face to face learning is interactive,
The rationale for supporting each of these perspectives on blended learning is that every learner is able to:
- have 24/7 access to all learning content, and to ensure equality of access;
- gauge their progress against the learning outcomes, to receive supporting feedback on this progress, and for staff to have information on student progress;
- participate in, and engage with interactive learning opportunities in her or his face-to-face learning sessions. There is no expectation that this need necessarily involve the use of technologies.
- use asynchronous collaborative learning which extends the face to face learning, creating supportive learning networks, managed by learners at a time and place best suited to their needs;
- understand better her or his learning process, act on feedback, so as to become more effective and successful, as well as collecting evidence on achievement to enhance our learners employability;
- save time and paper, and provide feedback quickly to each learner.