blended.png What is Blended Learning?

Blended Learning 'blends' digital tools with face to face learning. It can look very different depending on the teacher's goals, student profiles and student technology access in and out of school. Often, blended learning involves the use of a Learning Managment System (e.g. Blackboard and Moodle), a software package that requires student registration and allows for content management and delivery. However, an LMS is NOT necessary for blended learning.

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How is blended learning different from face to face learning?

Blended learning is on a spectrum between face to face learning and eLearning (Distributed Learning / online courses). It often includes online communication between teacher and student and online learning activities such as the following:
  • synchronous and asynchronous online discussions;
  • online self-assessments;
  • blogs;blended 2.jpg
  • wikis;
  • virtual field trips;
  • virtual labs;
  • case studies;
  • simulations;
  • problem solving;
  • concept mapping;
  • interactive learning objects.

How do I access a LMS for Blended Learning?

In our district we have three options at the moment (although we are exploring other options for the future):

-the easiest to learn, use and access
-attractive interface students are comfortable with
-flexible and responsive
-does not offer management tools such as grade books and assignment dropboxes
-has management tools such as gradebook and assignment submission.
-takes time to learn and manage
-has management tools such as gradebook and assignment submission.
-fully developed online courses can be ordered and then modified (great for teaching a course for the first time but keep in mind Blackboard created content remains their property and can not be transferred to another LMS even if you've modified it)
-iPad and iPhone apps availble
-highest learning curve
-unsustainable price per student for most schools (approx. $10 per student per course)
-a linear structured, rigid interface

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What is Blended Learning?

Teacher Resources
Fantastic break down by the Ontario Ministry of Education examining the differences between face to face, blended and e-learning (LMS not required).
Great overviews and resources for teachers interested in understanding blended learning (LMS not required).
Blended Learning Best Practices
A great place to start with clear step by step instructions of what to consider when building online activities (LMS not required).
MERLOT: Multimedia Education Database
A wide range of peer reviewed online teaching and learning activities (LMS not required)..

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