The one could express ‘’blended learning is an approach to learning that combines face to face and online learning experiences. Dhull and Beniwal (2018) stated “The term ‘blended learning’ actually describes the manner in which E-learning is integrated or combined with a more traditional classroom setup, offering independent study.” As a learning model, it is gaining momentum due to advancements in both school education and emerging technologies.

With the help of this learning technique, students learn in part through online learning and they have an element of control over where, when and how they work. Both synchronized and asynchronized learning can be provided through devices and applications (such as learning management systems) which are used to personalize and gamificate the learning process. In other words, it can be expressed that the aim is to integrate technological developments into lessons and to make the learning process independent of time and space. It is not the aim of blended learning to replace teachers. It has the potential to radically alter space and time in the classroom, allowing teachers to do things they could not before (like individual and small group teaching) and providing students with an unparalleled ability to obtain instruction customized to their specific needs. It aids students in gaining a thorough understanding of subjects through the use of web-based tools and active involvement in class. It can help students think more deeply, relieve pressure, and become more satisfied. The use of technology in physical classrooms provides additional opportunities for pupils, and is expected to boost learners’ trust and competence while also improving learning experience.

So how to apply it?

1. Use a variety of teaching tools

Include digital technology and typical teaching approaches in the classroom. Switching between computer-based or gamified education and person-to-person teaching keeps students involved and enhances classes.

2. Make learning accessible for students

When students leave the school, learning must continue. One of the advantages of integrating digital learning is that students can still, anywhere, access content, tasks and games. So, it is asynchronous learning.

3. Personalize learning pathways for each student

An environment that can give instant and formative feedback to the students should be created. Moreover, learning management systems (“Classdojo” can be a crucial example for elementary school teachers) that can appeal to the individual, taking into account the cultural background and competencies of the students should be preferred. 

Blended learning vs Flipped learning

When it comes to differenses between blended learning and flipped learning, According to Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker (2016), defined blended learning as:

 “Any time a student learns, at least in part, at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and, at least in part, through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace. The modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience.” 

The most important part of the term is the “element of student control,” which highlights the streaming educational framework that allows better learner-centered learning by allowing pupils greater inspection over the time, location, direction, and phase of their learning paths than ever before. Blended learning provides a holistic view that focuses on modifying instructional framework initially, afterwards using technology as a supporter, rather than an engine, for exceptional learning environments that permit an instructor to customize and maximize learning. The technology aids in the provision of data to teachers, the expansion of pupil options for instructional services and learning resources, and the provision of options for learners to exercise and demonstrate great  results. In general, we support blended learning, which includes using both conventional approaches and the opportunities provided by emerging technology. Previously recorded audio or video files are often provided in flipped classrooms, accompanied by class exercises. Learners watch the whole video before or during training, and this occurs prior to face-to-face sessions. Because of this, classroom teaching should be used for conversation, such as Q&A discussions, interviews, drills, and other forms of learning. This is an ideal method to “extract” classroom practices with practices outside of the classroom. Flipping is more than just visuals and technology. 

Furthermore, technology does not take the place of effective instruction. It improves the quality of instruction. Flipping allows us to make the most of our school hours. It is an approach that allows the teacher to deeply engage learners in the collective environment and create collaborative problem-solving activities. In short, both online learning frameworks have been recognized as the primary motivational factor of pupil success recently but that does not imply they are equally appropriate for the class. The decision among blended learning and flipped classroom is influenced by the overall results of your classroom. A flipped classroom is usually more beneficial for instructors who want to change their curriculum towards an ultimate emphasis on implementing philosophy of education with effective utilization of  technology. On the opposite, an instructor who wants to offer extra help while adhering to the patterns of the Z generation will gain so much from blended learning. That is, if you would like to expand the learning process in your class, choose blended learning; if you would like to make some time for functional learning, flip your classroom.

To sum up, in this text, it has mentioned blended learning is a form of learning that mixes online and classroom learning. As a learning paradigm, progress in education and new technology gives it impetus. It is not meant to replace teachers with mixed learning. It has the ability to change the classroom space and time dramatically so that teachers can do things that they haven’t been able to. It helps students learn more about the subject by using Web-based resources and active participation in the classroom. Additionally,  digital learning gives students anywhere, every time and anywhere access to information, jobs and sports. An ecosystem should be developed that can provide students with immediate and formative input. Combined learning involves using both traditional and new technologies approaches. Mark O’Mara stated “Technology helps teachers to provide information and pupil opportunities for education and learning facilities and that helps pupils to exercise and to show high performance”. For the next terms in education, it can be said that undoubtedly open and distance education will be in use and people who are in the field of second language education must be knowledgeable about the importance of blended learning on the basis of second language education.

References: 

Dhull, P., & Beniwal, R. (2018). Blending Learning: Effective Use of Technology in Classrooms. International Journal of Science and Research, 8(7), 1593–1595.  https://www.ijsr.net/archive/v8i7/ART20199890.pdf

Hall, G. (2016). New technologies, blended learning and the ‘flipped classroom’ in ELT. In The Routledge Handbook of English Language Teaching (Routledge Handbooks in Applied Linguistics) (1st ed., pp. 135–149). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315676203.ch10

Simon, E. (2019). An Overview of Blended Language Learning. The FLTMAG. https://fltmag.com/an-overview-of-blended-language-learning/

Staker, H. (2016). Defining blended learning. Christensen Institute. https://www.christenseninstitute.org/blog/defining-blended-learning/#:~:text=Blended%20learning%20is%20any%20time,path%2C%20and%2For%20pace.

Written by:

Beyza Çıtak

İbrahim Türkmen

Hilal Yerlikaya

Mücahit Altun

2 thoughts on “Discussions on Blended Learning

  1. hilalpie says:

    👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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