Revisiting Blended Learning Principles, With School Plans in Limbo

This fall, some college buildings could also be open once more, however issues gained’t be again to regular. In all chance, college students should come to campuses part-time in shifts, which creates an entire host of challenges for colleges as they try to supply complete academic alternatives.

Designing a brand new choreography for education might appear to be an enormous endeavor, but it surely’s not a brand new one. For the higher a part of a decade, many faculties have been implementing blended learning fashions that combine on-line studying with brick-and-mortar instruction to rethink time, area and staffing.

Blended studying is available in numerous varieties, however throughout the varied fashions, blended studying prompts educators to think about the next questions:

  • What can college students study properly independently, particularly when aided by digital studying applied sciences?
  • Which studying actions are most vital to do collectively?

As colleges assume by their logistical challenges, contemplate how three blended studying fashions described under can assist you reply the questions above, primarily based in your priorities, wants and obtainable assets. The scheduling eventualities that colleges are having to work by ought to not be mere logistical planning workout routines to restrict headcount. Instead, contemplate how blended studying can assist reimagine assets and scheduling to maximise studying throughout each on-line and face-to-face time.

Flipped Classroom: Making probably the most of impartial and in-class studying

Flipped classroom blended learning model
Flipped Classroom mannequin. (Image supply: Christensen Institute)

The Flipped Classroom is a blended studying mannequin that flips the standard relationship between class time and homework. Students study at dwelling by way of on-line coursework or pre-recorded video classes, and sophistication time is targeted on teacher-guided observe or tasks.

The Flipped Classroom mannequin isn’t an ideal reply to COVID-19 as a result of it usually assumes college students come to highschool for a full day of instruction each day. Nonetheless, the core rules of the mannequin are immensely related for each part-time and full-time distance studying in the course of the pandemic. It basically asks: What actions are greatest for impartial studying versus studying collectively? The solutions can assist educators maximize time spent with college students, regardless if it’s in-person or just about.

Online studying assets provide an efficient approach for college students to study many primary info and expertise on their very own. Videos that lecturers create or curate—individually or as grade-level or departmental groups—can present efficient protection of primary content material. As an additional advantage, college students can velocity up, decelerate, and replay movies as wanted. Quizzes and adaptive studying software program give college students alternatives to overview content material and observe primary expertise with speedy suggestions. In quick, in the case of foundational studying on the backside of Bloom’s Taxonomy or the decrease ranges of Webb’s Depth of Knowledge framework, college students can overview loads of the supplies on their very own—offered they’ve entry to good on-line assets.

Educators usually reserve face-to-face time for actions that deepen college students’ understanding, strengthen relationships, and make studying significant. Top precedence actions embody issues like class discussions, group collaboration on tasks, suggestions on higher-order pondering, and focused instruction to deal with misconceptions.

Enriched Virtual: Optimizing for when college students solely come to highschool part-time

Enhanced virtual blended learning model
Enhanced Virtual mannequin (Image supply: Christensen Institute)

The Enriched Virtual mannequin takes the weather of the Flipped Classroom one step additional by making on-line studying the spine of instruction. In this mannequin, college students do most of their studying independently with supplies designed for absolutely on-line programs, and meet periodically with lecturers at a brick-and-mortar web site.

Programs that observe this mannequin place excessive precedence on ensuring all communications and course supplies are straightforward for college students to entry and navigate with minimal trainer path or facilitation. It’s a mannequin that would match properly with what some districts are planning for the brand new college 12 months, with college students coming to highschool only some days out of the week.

As with the Flipped Classroom mannequin, Enriched Virtual additionally encourages educators to prioritize how they use restricted face-to-face educational time. Rather than spending that point masking content material, lecturers usually focus the few hours they’ve with college students on addressing the actual challenges that hinder college students’ impartial studying—be these because of misconceptions about content material, counterproductive studying habits, social-emotional difficulties, or different studying challenges.

With college students slipping through the cracks in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mannequin that enables lecturers to spend in-person hours targeted on figuring out and addressing college students’ obstacles to studying appears worthwhile now greater than ever.

A La Carte: Prioritizing in-class time for key programs and topics

A la carte blended learning model
A La Carte mannequin (Image supply: Christensen Institute)

What is the A La Carte mannequin? It’s a model of blended studying wherein college students who attend brick-and-mortar colleges additionally take a number of programs on-line. Under regular circumstances, college students normally enroll in A La Carte programs after they want extra flexibility of their schedules or when they’re excited by programs—similar to Arabic, sound manufacturing, or AP Psychology—that is probably not provided at their native colleges.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges would possibly contemplate providing A La Carte programs to deal with restricted constructing capability. Just as Flipped Classroom and Enriched Virtual fashions ask educators to consider carefully about which studying actions are greatest performed independently and that are greatest performed in-person, A La Carte prompts college and district leaders to consider which topics or programs are greatest delivered on-line and that are greatest performed in-person.

For instance, college leaders would possibly resolve to make use of focus on-campus time and capability on core topics—similar to English language arts, math, science and social research—after which ship all non-core topics by way of a purely digital format. Alternatively, a college would possibly provide extra on-campus programs to college students who most want in-person assist—similar to these liable to failing, those that don’t have good web entry at dwelling, or these whose dad and mom are front-line healthcare employees—and provide A La Carte on-line programs primarily to college students whose studying wants and household circumstances are extra conducive to on-line studying.

We don’t but know the way a lot time college students and lecturers will be capable to spend collectively all through the tutorial 12 months forward. But come what might, the blended studying rules and practices highlighted above can assist educators assume by learn how to benefit from their circumstances.

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