What Is Blended Learning?

Overview/Purpose

In this learning module you will learn what blended/hybrid learning is and is NOT. This module provides you with basic definitions. You begin with an introduction to resources available and can choose to dig deeper if time allows. While this is probably the most difficult delivery method to design, it can be one of the best learning opportunities for students when done correctly. The last learning activity, which is 50 minutes in length, is really worth your time to watch, since it provides you with a great overview and is research based.

It will take approximately 64 minutes to complete.

Learning Activities

  1. Review competency and learning objectives.

Competency:

Examine blended (hybrid) teaching.

Learning Objectives

  • Define what blended means.
  • Identify the benefits of blended delivery method.
  • Review elements in existing blended course.
  1. Read What is Blended Learning?

    Why: Before you begin to learn about how to develop a blended/hybrid course you must understand what it is.  This is brief definition from the Blended Learning Toolkit, which is an online resource that is continually updated.

    Time: 2 minutes if you do not explore any of the additional information.

  1. Watch video What is a hybrid or blended learning class? From Marquette’s College of Professional Studies.

    Why: This is a short video that explains blended learning in easy to understand terms.  It also points out that the learning activities outside of class, for the blended portion, do not have to involve technology, which is powerful.

    Time: 1:39 minutes

  1. Read Is Blended Learning the Best of Both Worlds

    Why: This provides another definition/explanation of blended learning.  They point out that one critical element is reduced seat time and how this can benefit students.

    Time: 10 minutes

  1. Read Advantages and Challenges

    Why: This short article from UW Milwaukee, provides you with advantages and challenges of teaching a hybrid (blended) course.  Since many instructors assume that adding an online discussion board activity on Blackboard each week means they have successfully blended their course. This is not the case. There is much more thought and design that goes into blending your course. You can explore the additional information on this link as well – which includes Tips, Ten Questions for Course Redesign, and Web Resources.

    Time: 5 minutes if you do not explore all of the links

  1. Watch video Evidence Based Practices in Blended Learning.  This is optional – however an excellent overview of blended teaching.

    Why:  This is a great introduction to blended teaching.  Dr. Linder shares the fact that more and more schools are choosing to offer blended courses, but that many have not taken the time to really understand what a blended course is and what is involved in design one. You will be introduced to a definition of blended learning, as well as best practices for designing a blended course.

    Time: 50 minutes