Tuesday, November 17, 2009

ED: Blended Learning Helps Boost Achievement

How is online instruction transforming education today? There are online learning programs that provide credit recovery, enrichment opportunities and core curriculum classes for students. Online learning also provides an alternative for students who do not like the traditional school environment.

A study conducted by SRI International found that online learning at the post-secondary level was more effective than face-to-face classes. Researchers also found that “blended learning needs to be more effective than conventional face-to-face instruction to justify the additional time and costs it entails.” The researchers also found that when students were given control of their interaction with the online environment and when students were prompted to reflect on what they learned, this did enhance the online learning outcomes.

Susan Patrick, president and CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning states, “the advantage of online or blended learning over face-to-face instruction alone ‘is the combination of rich student-teacher-peer communication and interactions that are both asynchronous and synchronous, better utilizing the precious resource of time during, and outside, the school day to maximize learning--and personalize it in a way never before possible.’”

Why does this blended model work best? Tthe blended model possesses the factors that exemplify good teaching because of the, “increased interactions between students and teachers, increased depth of rigor and exploration into content, customized learning to meet the students exactly where they are in learning the lessons, better use of data to inform instruction, and providing additional student support to help personalize instruction by the teacher” according to Patrick.

To learn more about blended learning visit the International Association for K-12 Online Learning at http://www.inacol.org/research/promisingpractices/NACOL_PP-BlendedLearning-lr.pdf.

To read the entire ED: Blended Learning Helps Boost Achievement article please go to: http://www.eschoolnews.com/resources/online-learning-1/online-learning-articles/index.cfm?rc=1&i=59695

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