With online education on the rise, many academic institutions are offering some online learning each year. As an instructional methodology, blended learning amalgamates face-to-face classroom instructions and computer-mediated knowledge and education activities. This instructional approach’s advantage is that it combines both instructor-led and online teaching approach into one integrated approach.
To be effective, secondary school administrators should develop a clear vision, identify which courses suit the most with blended learning models, and offer ongoing support to both the educators and students. The first step is to understand the four basic blending learning models, which are:
In this model, learners in a class alternate between online and other learning modalities. This rotation could be either according to a fixed schedule or as per the instructor’s discretion. However, in this model, a significant part of the learning occurs in a brick-and-mortar campus. The Flipped Classroom is one of the best examples of the Rotation Model, which is commonly used. In this case, a student attends traditional classroom courses for about two months and then enhances their learning in a lab for another couple of months. The next two months are given to complete home assignments and other schoolwork at home. Then, another couple of months are given to complete a personalized academic program that the teacher designs for each student.
The foundation of learning in this model is online, and students typically learn at their school campus. The learners in this model benefit from online learning or learning at their own pace online and get direct guidance from the teachers in the classroom. As the students learn primary content online, this model enables teachers to spend more time helping them in challenging areas where they are struggling or go in-depth in subjects that a student has mastered. Teachers can use this model to facilitate learning with smaller group activities, one-on-one tuition support, or project-based learning.
Enriched Virtual Model
This model lets the students spend most of their time completing the coursework at their own pace remotely, complemented by needed in-person sessions with the teacher. While the Enriched Virtual model’s base is online learning, it is different from full-time online schools as face-to-face learning is a necessary component of the coursework as is not optional. The reality is that many full-time online schools have moved their programs to this model to offer students the essential experience of a school campus.
À la carte Model
In this model, a student enrolls for one or more online courses and the regular traditional courses at a physical campus. In this case, the students can opt to take the courses online to complement the course load at their school campus. This model is found most commonly at the high school level, as the students choose to enroll in a course that is not offered currently by their school, for example, an advanced course that helps in placement or a specialized language course. In an À La Carte model, a student can take a course completely virtual, maybe in a study hall or outside school. This model differs from a full-time virtual school, as in this case. Some courses are provided online, while others are to be taken in school, where the students benefit by interacting with their teachers and peers.
Although schools don’t always put all the four models into practice, by doing so, the students can be empowered with how they want to learn. Research proves that if two or more learning models are combined, the result would be more effective than just face-to-face classroom instruction.