In this episode, I discuss why and how you should use blended learning as well as look at a short example where self-paced blended learning is used well. Listen to the audio above or read through the summary below.
Blended Learning by Daniel Jackson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
What is blended learning?
- It is a mash-up of traditional face-to-face teaching and using technology.
- Personally, when I do it, I often call it an in-flip, where the student’s watch the video in the classroom and I might still provide some direct instruction to some, or when it is needed.
Why use blended learning?
- Free’s the teacher up to spend more time with students on things they need help with
- Saves time
- Allows students to move at their own pace and to use a mastery or competency-based approach to the learning sequence, rather than a timed content approach, where you simply move through the content at a pace you think will work for most.
- Way better for creating life-long learners. As success in learning brings the happy hormones which help students to enjoy the process.
How to blend your lessons
There are lots of ways that you can create a blended learning environment. You could:
- Do 50:50 where half watch instruction or are using tech, while the other half is with you doing something else that is related
- You might put up the lesson instructions on a board or ppt and let the students work through the activities in order, or as a choice board, where they can do them in any order
- You could add more detail to your booklets etc that you hand out so that students can work through them at their own pace
- You could create hyperdocs (more on this in a future episode)
Self-paced blended learning
Blended really allows for self-paced learning. So take advantage of this.
- Check in with students to see where they are up to and where they are going next
- Build in formative assessment check-points throughout the process, much like you would in a project-based learning environment
- Use it for project-based learning
- Plan clear differentiation in your tasks and activities
- Allow for collaborative tasks, and peer feedback
I saw an example of this recently in a post from Edutopia. A teacher, Kate Gaskill using the blended self-paced approach had a check-in process with her students that was fantastic using what she called a Do Now sheet.
The sheet asked the students to:
- State the objective for the lesson in their own words
- Identify a strategy that will help them finish
- What lesson they were on
- How they were going to keep on pace and also checked in on their emotions
Then she would meet briefly with each student
- Briefly run through their sheet
- Ask if there was anything they need from her
Try Blended learning
- Create 1 blended lesson this week
- Use the slip or a modification of it to check in with EACH student during the lesson
- If you like the process, see if you can create a 2-week booklet or something similar that the students can use for a blended approach for those 2 weeks and see if their learning increases and if the students begin to enjoy the success they are having in your class.