What is Blended?

A blended learning approach combines face to face classroom methods with computer-mediated activities to form an integrated instructional approach. In the past, digital materials have served in a supplementary role, helping to support face to face instruction.  For example, a blended approach to a traditional, face to face course might mean that the class meets once per week instead of the usual three-session format. Learning activities that otherwise would have taken place during classroom time can be moved online.

As of now, there is no consensus on a single agree-upon definition for blended learning. The Resources page contains cites to several articles that provide definitions. In addition, the terms "blended," "hybrid," and "mixed-mode" are used interchangeably in current research literature.

 Why Blend?

The goal of a blended approach is to join the best aspects of both face to face and online instruction. Classroom time can be used to engage students in advanced interactive experiences.  Meanwhile, the online portion of the course can provide students with multimedia-rich content at any time of day, anywhere the student has internet access, from computer labs, the coffee shop, or the students’ homes. This allows for an increase in scheduling flexibility for students.

Blended learning is on the rise in higher education. 93% of higher ed instructors and admin say they are using blended learning strategies somewhere in their institution. 7 in 10 expect more than 40% of their schools’ courses to be blended by 2013 (Bonk, C. J. & Graham, C. R. (Eds.). (in press).

Definition Provided By Penn State