What is blended learning? – An update.

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Following on from this blog post: 

/www.flippedacademic.co.uk/ippedacademic.co.uk/2014/03/what-is-blended-learning-some-help.html

I would like to thank those who commented or contacted me.

One thing that seemed to be a big hit was the graphic of the model, so here it is in a more polished looking format (personally I like the scribbled version, but apparently it doesn’t look so good in potential papers to academic board)!

This initial visual proposal really helped us to evaluate where e-learning & distance learning sits within our university. For those of us who live in these areas everyday it was quite clear where the boundaries lay, but for the majority of staff there was perhaps a lack of clarity. This diagram is certainly helping us to make that relationship clearer.

This diagram has also allowed us to clarify the roles of our learning technologists and our instructional designers. Our learning technologists predominantly work in the areas of TEL, with some work in supporting the development of blended (with a focus on the face to face support). Our instructional designers work very much in the online learning space (defining instructional design models and tools for online delivery), but they too will support some aspects on blended delivery.

As the diagram suggests, e-learning is very much about “technology enhanced learning” (TEL) but also about supporting staff in using online activities in a blended delivery. Distance learning is very much focussed on the 100% online delivered provision, but again supporting aspects of the blended delivered courses.

The second element was the definition of the term “blended learning”. This generated quite a lot of discussion (particularly internally) but it has helped us come to the following definition (still subject to tweaking):

Blended Learning:

“Where the learning experience has been designed to include a learner’s requirement to undertake activities wholly online and face to face in order to fulfil the needs of the module/course delivery” 

Blended Learning is NOT: when learners are asked to access resources, materials and or information in an online space.

As part of this definition we will begin to build examples of where learning is blended as opposed to Technology Enhanced (TEL).

Would love to hear if you agree with our definition – or if you have any suggestions for changing it.

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