I continue to write about this topic because first, I think it is important for people to fully understand it, and second, because I believe by writing down these thoughts, others will help to provide a come a common understanding so we all get smarter. Other blog posts here, here and here discuss the definition of blended learning. Just like trying to define the term “education”, “blended learning” is multi-faceted and has many different components.
There are many aspects to blended learning, just as there are many aspects to online learning. iNacol, the national organization for K-12 Online Learning has released quality standards for online learning programs and online teaching. But, to my knowledge, there are no printed standards for blended learning or blended teaching. Some type of standards or matrix really is needed to address blended learning. Perhaps something like the Technology Integration Matrix from the Univesity of Southern Florida.
What I do know is that doing blended learning is much more than simply putting lesson plans on the web or having students turn in their work online. The following components need to be considered as blended learning is further defined or some type of rubric or matrix is developed:
- Online tools being used
- Course Management System – using one or not?
- Student schedule – what parts are online and what parts f2f?
- Student time – what time are students expected to spend online vs. f2f?
- Teachers and training – how to be an effective blended teacher.
- Pedagogy – how is blended teaching different than f2f teaching?
- Technology infrastructure
There are probably other components I’m missing. Please add them!