I was sitting at the CUE Conference in Palm Springs in March 2010 and Michael Horn was talking about the latest report from the Innosight Institute entitled, “The Rise of Blended Learning “. He stated the definition of blended learning is as follows:
Blended learning is any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised brick and mortar location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace. (Horn & Staker, 2010; Staker, 2011. http://www.innosightinstitute.org/media-room/publications/education-publications/).
I was following Twitter at the time, and someone tweeted this, “Teachers at my school put their lessons online last week, so we are doing blended learning.” This is not a good example of what is intended by “blended learning.”
I tweeted at the time that I thought this definition was too broad. And then I realized that “we” have not all agreed on a definition of “blended learning” and how important that is to further the research in this area.
The current Innosight Report about Blended Learning does a good job of defining different types of blended learning models. In particular, this diagram helps to identify what blended learning is.
The accompanying case studies and their placement on this blended learning continuum are helpful.
However, if a person only reads the above definition of blended learning, then most anyone putting anything online could be considered blended learning.
I prefer the definition developed by Allen & Seamans from the Sloan Consortium:
Blended/hybrid course: courses that blend online and face-to-face delivery where a substantial proportion (30% to 79%) of the content is delivered online. (Allen & Seaman, 2007. http://sloanconsortium.org/publications/survey/index.asp) .
In addition, Tom Vander Ark, in this blog post began to help define what is and is NOT blended learning.
I have created the Blended Learning Wiki in an effort to help everyone better define what the collective “we” means when we say “blended” learning. Please add in your thoughts and links.