Observe & Consider
Defining Blended Learning
As we’ve seen in the previous section, blended learning can be defined in many ways. While a precise definition can be helpful, it is also helpful to simply consider the numerous interpretations of what blended learning can be and then work to define it for ourselves with our own context in mind.
Erin McCloskey, Director of Curriculum, Distance Education Professional Development at the UW Division of Continuing Studies, describes key concepts and provides fundamental background information regarding distinctions between online and blended learning.
Let’s take a look at a few readings that help to define further what blending learning is and some key blended learning principles. Many of these readings also touch on strategies, challenges, and instructional design for blended learning, all topics that we will be discussing in the upcoming Weeks 2-4 of this session. (If you can only read one or two of these, we’d suggest the first two; they provide a short but comprehensive overview of blended learning fundamentals.)
- Blended Learning in Higher Education – Introduction of book – D. Randy Garrison & Norman D. Vaughn
- Hybrid Classrooms – The Chronicle of Higher Education
- Blended Learning: Uncovering its transformation potential in higher education – D. Randy Garrison & Heather Kannuka
- Blended Learning Systems: Definition, Current Trends, and Future Directions – Charles Graham
Share & Connect
Blended Learning Definitions
As we mentioned in the introduction to blended learning, there are many definitions of blended learning. In this activity we’re going to explore variations blended learning by seeking out unique definitions. Here’s how we’ll do it:
- Search the web for resources that define or characterize blended learning in whole OR in part.
- Choose a few definitions or characteristics that resonate with you. Variety is key to the success of this exercise.
- Post the definition(s) or characteristic(s) to the wiki page here: Blended Learning Definitions Wiki.
- Read and consider the definitions posted by other participants.
In the following chapter, we’ll take this exercise one step further!