What is Blended Learning?

"Blended learning means many things to many people, even within our relatively small online learning
community. It is referred to as both blended and hybrid learning, with little or no difference in the
meaning of the terms among most educators. In general terms, blended learning combines online
delivery of educational content with the best features of classroom interaction and live instruction
to personalize learning, allow thoughtful reflection, and differentiate instruction from student to
student across a diverse group of learners (iNACOL)."

Definitions of blended learning range from some so broad that practically any learning experience
that integrates some use of educational technology might qualify, to others that focus on a specific
percentage combination of online curriculum and instruction in a face-to-face setting.

Blended Courses are. . . .

  • NOT traditional “distance education” courses
  • Not entirely online
  • NOT simply traditional classes with a Web site
  • Online time replaces some classroom time
  • NOT just transferring information to the Web
  • Involves an extensive course redesign
  • NOT all alike
  • Many different formats and schedules are possible
Most importantly, in this view, blended learning represents a shift in instructional strategy. Just
as online learning represents a fundamental shift in the delivery and instructional model of
distance learning, blended learning offers the possibility to significantly change how teachers and
administrators view online learning in the face-to-face setting.

iNACOL, http://inacol.org/resources/promisingpractices/NACOL_PP-BlendedLearning-lr.pdf