Monday, 6 March 2017

Blended Learning & Flipped Learning

Blended learning refers to a teaching method that combines online technology with traditional teaching methods. Students still engage in face-to-face instruction, but also engage in online content. There is no concrete formula for implementing blended learning, as it looks different in every classroom. This style of learning may be difficult to implement if the teacher is not overly “tech-savvy”. However, it is beneficial for students in that they are exposed to more 21st century styles of learning, but while still receiving the benefits of face-to-face instruction/support.

Flipped learning refers to having the instruction online and the homework being done in the classroom. When I first heard about this method of teaching a few years back, I was pretty intrigued by it. Introducing students to concepts at home and then building on those concepts during class time makes complete sense. Having students complete their homework at home where they do not have the support from their teacher, does not seem like a recipe for success. However, flipped learning definitely has its shortcomings. The most obvious issue would be limited access to technology. If students do not have computers at home, they would not be able to access the fundamental concepts needed for class the following day. Second, by having instruction occur at home, students would then be extending their school day. Students do not necessarily have homework everyday, especially depending on the teacher’s homework beliefs, so why should the student be expected to take their evening time to prepare for school the next day?

Flipped Classroom infographic can be viewed here.

Both blended and flipped learning have many wonderful benefits for both students and teachers, however, there are also many shortcomings. Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in between.