Friday, July 13, 2012

Blended Learning

What Is Blended Learning? 

Have you thought about putting some of your students’ classwork online? Does that mean you’re delving into “blended learning”? I just read a blog by Rob Darrow that discussed a white paper on blended learning. Heather Staker and Michael B. Horn’s paper, Classifying K-12 Blended Learning (Innosight Institute, May 2012) defines blended learning as: a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace and at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home. Catlin Tucker writes a passionate response to this white paper in her blog, amending the definition to read, a formal education program in which a student is engaged in active learning at least in part online where they have some control over the time, place, and/or pace and in part at a brick-and-mortar location away from home. Notice that Tucker takes exception to the word “path” in Staker and Horn’s definition. She totally eliminates it in her revised version. I definitely applaud her emphasis on students’ active engagement in the learning process. Her elimination, however, of the word “supervised” definitely wouldn’t meet California Department of Ed.’s requirements for online learning! Staker and Horn did invite others to contribute to their research by asking others to offer “improvements and additions.” So add your voice to the mix. Read the blogs and the white papers. Be part of the “disruptive innovation”!