BENEFITS OF BLENDED LEARNING

There are many reasons to use a blended learning approach in course design.  Before starting a course design process, it is useful to stop and reflect on the reasons and desired goals for such approach. The following are benefits of blended learning by audience:

For Students

  • Improves ability to personalize learning.
  • Increases flexibility in course scheduling.
  • Improves student engagement and motivation.
  • Creates learning communities across time and geolocation.

For Faculty

  • Improves pedagogy used in course by increasing the level of active learning strategies, peer-to-peer learning strategies, and learner-centered strategies used.
  • Provides flexible scheduling and delivery of information by “offering a mix of traditional and technology mediated channels to provide more options for non-traditional students (Graham, 2005).”

For institution

  • Increases cost effectiveness and efficiency by finding solutions that are more cost-efficient than the current, traditional teaching methods.
  • Extends time and stretches resources.
  • Has the potential to expand the reach of effective teachers.
  • Reduces “seat time.”

BLENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Wisconsin Experience and the Essential Learning Outcomes initiative encourages instructors to facilitate the following practices in their course:

  • substantial research experiences that generate knowledge and analytical skills;
  • global and cultural competencies and engagement;
  • leadership and activism opportunities; and
  • application of knowledge in the “real world”

This initiative strives to help students develop the following skills before they graduate:

Knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world Intellectual and practical skills Personal and social responsibility Integrative Learning
  •  Through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts
  •  Inquiry and analysis
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Written and oral communication
  • Quantitative literacy
  • Information, media, and technology literacy
  •  Civic knowledge and engagement – local and global
  • Intercultural knowledge and competence
  • Foundations and skills for lifelong learning
  •  Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies
  •  Focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring
  • Practiced entensively across the curriculum the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance
  •  Anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges
  •  Demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems

In the book, The Handbook of Blended Learning, Curtis Bonk, Kyong-Jee Kim, and Tintin Zeng contribute chapter called “Future Directions of Blended Learning in Higher Education and Workplace Learning Setting.”

Future predictions for most-widely used pedagogical techniques for e-learning in higher education settings
 Response Options Number of Respondents Response Ratio (%)
Group problem-solving and collaboration tasks
Problem-based learning
Discussion
Case-based strategies
Simulation and role play
Student-generated content
Coaching or mentoring
Guided learning
Exploration or discovery
Lecturing or teacher-directed activities
Modeling solution process
Socratic questioning
356
316
237
228
198
190
162
155
147
60
49
47
65.4
58.1
43.6
41.2
36.4
34.9
29.8
28.5
27.0
11.0
9.0
8.6
Future predictions for most-widely used pedagogical techniques for e-learning in workplace learning settings
 Response Options Number of Respondents Response Ratio (%)
Authentic case scenarios
Simulations or gaming
Virtual team collaborations
Problem-based learning
Coaching or mentoring
Guided learning
Self-Paced learning
Exploration or discovery
Modeling solution processes
Discussion
Debates and role play
Lecturing
Socratic Questioning
145
115
107
97
90
86
79
45
44
41
36
3
5
63
50
46.5
42.2
39.1
37.4
34.3
19.6
19.1
17.8
15.7
13.5
2.2