Blended learning

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The term blended learning normally refers to a combination of face-to-face (offline) and online learning.[1]

In the previous sections we saw how online and face-to-face learning are each seen as having advantages: while face-to-face learning can provide direct personal interaction, online learning provides greater flexibility of time and place and the opportunities of asynchronous learning.

Blended learning is a strategy with the potential to make best use of the benefits of each approach while avoiding its disadvantages. But this requires careful planning - the unfortunate connotations of a kitchen blender where different items are whisked together are not helpful! Perhaps a carefully assembled jigsaw is a more appropriate metaphor for the process of combining face-to-face and online components.

The flipped classroom model using a blended learning approach is an example of a strategy which aims to combine face-to-face learning with online learning to make best use of both.

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Find out how blended learning approaches are being used in your own organisation: not just which courses use blended learning, but how these courses combine specific face-to-face and online components.


Extra resources

  • Ako Aotearoa has some very useful resources on blended learning in the NZ context.

  1. The term is also occasionally used for a combination of face-to-face learning with some other form of learning outside the classroom - for example, workplace learning.