As we move from the traditional model of ‘sage on the stage’ and more and more students enrol in blended learning it brings with it more challenges such how the students are supported while studying online? How do we produce effective online material? How do we chunk it down and make it accessible? How do we make the most of the contact time and finally how does it all work together? Blended learning should encompass a range of methods (Jordan 2008) and our distance model has class based workshops, self-directed learning, online viewing and a chatroom session for questions and queries. When designing we were very conscious that we needed to draw from different elements, however we didn't consider how important communication and interacting with each other was, Donnelly (2016) identifies these as key areas which should be included in the design phase and emphasis interaction as essential.
We know that students who fully engage with the prescribed online viewing and attend workshops can excel and sometimes do better than their peers who attend the traditional model, so a blended approach should be nurtured. This type of education has opened up possibilities for students living in rural locations, however internet access and technology is essential (Jordan 2008) so it is by no means an inclusive model
Donnelly, R. (2016). Opportunities and Challenges of Interactivity in Blended Problem-based Learning.
Jordan, A., Carlile, O., & Stack, A. (2008). Approaches to learning: a guide for teachers: a guide for educators. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
Garrison, D. R. (2006). Online collaboration principles. Journal of Asynchronous Learning
Networks, 10(1), 25-34.