Blended Learning: How Teachers Balance the Blend of Online and Classroom Components
Journal of Information Technology Education Volume 13, ISSN 1547-9714
Despite teacher resistance to the use of technology in education, blended learning has increased rapidly, driven by evidence of its advantages over either online or classroom teaching alone. However, blended learning courses still fail to maximize the benefits this format offers. Much research has been conducted on various aspects of this problem, but only one other study has examined teaching practice in a blended course. Teachers using blended learning were interviewed about their use of online and classroom components and the reasons for their decisions. The online and classroom aspects of their course were analysed against a pedagogical framework of engagement strategies. Classroom components were found to be more highly valued by teachers than those online, an attitude largely driven by their perceptions that specific learning functions were best suited to particular formats. The courses themselves reflect these values. Most teachers used well-developed engagement strategies in their classroom teaching, compared to a minimal use of strategies online. Further, with one exception there was a lack of integration between online and classroom components. Blended learning will not fulfill its promise of better learning unless teachers can be encouraged to re-think and redesign courses that afford students more, and different learning experiences than those offered by either online or classroom alone. This paper adds to a small literature base examining what teachers actually do in blended learning, and signals steps that teachers and their institutions might take to build on the opportunities presented by blended learning.
Jeffrey, L.M., Milne, J. & Suddaby, G. (2014). Blended Learning: How Teachers Balance the Blend of Online and Classroom Components. Journal of Information Technology Education, 13, 121-140.