There have been multiple posts this week (Nu Dot, S.F.
What Does A Shoold Baord Member Need To Know About Blended Learning Or Online Learning
Are some more academic topics less dangerous than others in the age of blended learning? That is the question being posed as many educators look for ways to mix online learning with face-to-face instruction.
The marketing of blended learning and online learning is all about how much fun it is to use these learning tools while creating realistic, real-world learning opportunities for students. As an advocate for blended learning, I get excited when teachers and educators create a teachable moment through the technology that others are now making available to them.
The problem, though, is that sometimes what a teacher can create is not what students are learning. Classrooms can look busy when the classes are in session, but students may not be able to engage with each other because they have lost interest in the lesson. Students fall behind because there aren’t enough resources or opportunities for one-on-one learning, rather than because the teacher doesn’t have time to cover the subject matter.
Many blended learning techniques have traditional learning components and can be well worth practicing. With key objectives like homework and assessments in place, blended learning options can feel familiar and engender student interest. It does not take nearly as much time or money to create online courses as it does to do a traditional classroom course because they are portable and engaging. For this reason, we now see blended learning as an option for any student who wants a different option.
If, however, you believe that online and blended learning courses or courses in a typical classroom are bad, your experience may be difficult to change. You may need to have your views challenged.
As educators become more familiar with blending online and traditional classroom learning, it becomes clear that students tend to be more engaged in the online learning environment because the teacher is not physically present. More of their time is spent watching, reading, and then discussing what they learned.
There are educational models that tout on-campus blended learning as a better option than on-line learning, but blended learning has been widely employed, even by those who subscribe to this belief. The reality is that many of the issues that students encounter online are simply due to a lack of resources.
In many classrooms, there are little resources dedicated to challenging and interesting instruction. The classrooms do not have the quiet hours on specific days of the week so there is no pre-planned space to focus students. Teachers feel the need to share a classroom so students are able to sit in chairs or peers. Students become disinterested and the class quickly deteriorates, leading to dropping out.
Blended learning offers classes across all subjects and explores how students engage in the content in different ways. In many ways, blended learning has taken the need for organization out of the classroom. If students do not interact with the material, they will drop it. If the lesson is not interesting, all of the teachers will have to start over again and give the same lesson.
The vast majority of students cannot stay interested in a lecture if they are unable to interact with the other students in the class. A good lecture is not complete without something exciting to encourage and interest from students. If you want to find out if a college class or specific class in a school is teaching its students something useful, look for the student evaluations.
New classes at many schools are focused on blended learning. Students who are interested in studying chemistry, biology, and other science topics are being served with a class that only has one teacher in the classroom and room for students to interact with each other. Each student can choose a different station on the virtual campus and use his or her own tablet device to check chemistry equations or examine animal studies, which are conducted in labs located elsewhere.
Students are finding value in blended learning for science courses because the subject matter is studied in lab settings and there is a sense of research and discovery. Even though it may not seem as close as a classroom classroom, digital learning offers one-on-one interaction with students.
Students are anxious for advanced classes and will often find value in learning with another teacher as they may see no benefit from taking a classroom class, particularly if the subject is not their strongest subject. Sometimes students prefer online courses to the classroom learning because the option is available.