Current Status and Future Directions of Blended Learning Models

Current Status and Future Directions of Blended Learning Models

Michael C. Johnson (Brigham Young University, USA) and Charles R. Graham (Brigham Young University, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch240
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Background

Definitions

Use of the term blended learning is still relatively new in higher education, K-12, and corporate settings. In higher education the term hybrid course was previously used, and now the two terms are interchangeable. There continues to be debate over the precise meaning and relevance of blended learning (Graham, 2013; Staker & Horn, 2012). The most prevalent position is that BL environments combine F2F learning with technology-mediated instruction (Graham, 2006, 2013).

To clarify the considerable definition disagreement, Graham (2013) described four disputed areas:

  • 1.

    What blending includes

  • 2.

    Whether reduced seat time should be part of the definition

  • 3.

    Whether quantity of online instruction should be part of the definition

  • 4.

    Whether quality descriptors should be part of the definition

Despite disagreement on an operational definition of BL, many institutions are adapting BL to suit their specific needs. The loose definition thus facilitates localized innovation and customization (Graham, 2013; Staker & Horn, 2012).

Key Terms in this Chapter

MOOCs: Massive open online courses.

Learning Analytics: The collection and analysis of data regarding learning performance and activity in order to understand the learning process and help individual students succeed.

Blended Learning Environment: A learning environment that combines face-to-face and computer-mediated instruction.

Performance Support Systems: Systems that are designed to improve human performance through many different kinds of interventions, including but not limited to instructional interventions.

Hybrid Course: Another term for blended course—typically a course that replaces some F2F instructional time with computer-mediated activities.

Return on Investment (ROI): A measurement evaluating the gains versus the costs of an investment.

Course-and-a-Half Syndrome: The tendency to add online components to a traditional course without eliminating any face-to-face components when creating a blended course (or integrating technology).

Wrapped MOOCs: The use of MOOCs in blended learning contexts with the MOOC being the primary source of course content and learning activities, but supplemented and enhanced by a face-to-face instructor and the use of additional learning activities and assessments.

Competency-Based Education: Educational program in which students must demonstrate mastery of core skills (or competencies) rather than complete a certain number of credit hours.

Distributed Learning Environment: A learning environment in which participants are not co-located, but use computer-based technologies to access instruction and communicate with others.

Interactive Simulations: Computer-based simulations that allow users to explore a domain by directly changing a model of a system and see the effects of those changes.

Flipped Classroom: An instructional approach where initial instruction in course curricula occurs prior to the face-to-face meeting and application activities occur in class so that the instructor is present to guide and provide feedback.

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