Blended Learning


Virtual School

  • Example virtual school: KicsLearns, Moodle platform developed from 2016-18

Comparing traditional and blended learning activities

  • This chart shows examples of how traditional interactive activities, such as "turn and talk," "be the teacher," "compare and contrast," or "sentence starters" can be developed for a blended learning environment. Also included is information related to the learning pyramid, Bloom's Taxonomy, and Miller's Pyramid.

What's more important: the learning product or the learning process?

What’s more important for learning, the product or the process? How we go about developing something, or the thing that we actually develop? The experience of developing a product, or the quality of the product? There are different ways of looking at this.

Example: A DT class where students collaborate and discuss development of their work. there are no inter boundaries. Many students don’t finish ion time. The next time they work on a product, they complete the work a bit more effectively, and include some creative solutions. Another DT class where students follow the design cycle precisely. They work in small groups or alone, with few intra-classroom interactions. Most students finish their work. The next time they work on a product, they follow the same routine, and there are few surprises. Interactions and feedback occur through written comments, discussions, photographs, forums, wikis, blogs, videos, reflections, logs, rubrics or checklists. The 3rd time the groups work on a product how will interactive feedback differ between groups? Do these differences matter?

Another example: A 4th grade class where students walk around and talk with one another. They move furniture about to suit changing needs. Everyone knows what everyone is doing and students advise one another. The teacher has no station and moves about interacting with students. Imagine another 4th grade class where the students are stationed to small areas. Furniture is hardly moved, and only with teacher direction. Students may not be aware of what others around them are doing, The teacher may be at the desk or helping individuals or small groups. In each class students achieve particular learning outcomes, though at different rates and in different ways. In one class students will follow steps directed by the teacher. In the other class students may not follow the teacher’s steps, but they can depend on teacher guidance. In one class evidence of learning can be predicted. Specific work is produced. In the other class, evidence of learning is unpredicted and unique. In one class the final product is typically what the teacher expects, while in the other class the final product is often unexpected. Over time how will the evidence of learning differ in the two classes? Will the student learning in the two classes be different? Will learning be better in one class compared to the other? How will this impact evaluation and reporting of student learning in each class?

Another example in high school science: Students have difficulty understanding a key concept, so the teacher writes a diagram on the board to explain it. Many students copy the diagram, but they miss some details, and some students do not copy the diagram or can't see it clearly. The teacher goes to erase the board, and students tell him to wait, but he doesn't wait and erases the diagram. He thinks the students should have copied it already. Students may try to photograph the diagram, but the teacher may say no. The drawing may never be mentioned again. Another teacher also needing to erase the board encourages students to photograph the diagram. He photographs it, too. Then he posts it in a forum or wiki and tells the students to react online to the prompt he provides. In the next class, the class reflects on the learning. Research shows a relationship between handwriting to take notes and cognitive development. Children should be able to take notes by hand but time is often a problem. Notes through different media with appropriate long term feedback can be more effective for deep understandings.

A fourth example, kindergarten: Students draw and build things. The teacher and TAs help and guide students as normal. At the end of lessons, student work is saved in a binder to be looked at again. Other work is taken down, sent home or put on a shelf. Perhaps a photo is taken. In another class, the same actions occur, but students access their iPads, with or without assistance, to take photos, videos, recordings, sketches, or notes. They may upload their work to their portfolio or class blog, and have some online interactions with family and friends. The summative assessment is the same in each class. In which class, however, do students provide rich formative information to describe the process of their learning that can be examined, referred to, and reflected upon later? Will the overall learning be the same in each class?

To effectively document evidence of the learning process mobile technology and virtual environments are a must. Students can use a variety of tools to inquire, reflect, document, share and collaborate. Living digital environments provide teachers with tons of formative evidence.