A new model for learning

Rationale for blended learning

A colleague and I have been working on developing a project for an ICTPD (regional) application we want to make.  It is centred on developing a model of blended learning in which teachers are working together across schools.  The term ‘blended learning’ can be interpreted many different ways, but if we say that is a blend of online  and face to face learning.  The model we propose bridges the gap between distance and face to face learning, while also providing a scalebale alternative to the current model used by the eLearning clusters.

We want to explore blended learning as a means of providing greater flexibility and choice for students.  In essence being able to provide students with personalised learning in which they have real choice, not only in what they do and when, but also how they do it.

Many teachers are already developing blended learning with their students, but we are taking a step further by looking at it across schools as part of a joint delivery model (don’t like that term, but it works for now).  Students would have two face to face lessons with their home school teacher and two periods flexible learning time.  So for instance, Classical Studies could be taught by two teachers in different schools working collaboratively to develop the online side of  learning for students in both schools (and therefore providing students with plenty of opportunity to collaborate as well), while each teacher still meets the needs of students by providing guidance during the face to face lessons.  What it does is take the best aspects of distance learning (flexibility, opportunity for self-directed learning) and combine it with the best aspects of face to face (ease of communication, teacher contact, one to one time).  It also develops teacher capacity by getting them to work and consuently learn together.  The teacher collaboration will be the most challenging aspect, of that there is no doubt.

We are not just thinking traditional subjects here, but integrated curriculum opportunities as well.

What is important is that the pedagogy doesn’t just replicate traditonal classroom practice.  That in fact it is developing learner centred opportunies that allow students to make their own decisions and really direct their learning.  I have heard the term ‘self-directed’ learning used with reference to distance learning on occasion, but often it is just self management, rather than actually giving the students choices.

Watch this space…

View diagrams at wikieducator


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