Blended Learning

When facilitating Blended Learning, always start by answering the question why you would like to facilitate Blended Learning.
Here you will find information about what Blended Learning actually is, what the benefits are and how you facilitate effective Blended Learning.

Rationale for Blended Learning

Educational implications of a more digital world
Our current students do not know a world without the internet; the education they experience must match this reality. Supportive technology offers unprecedented but often unknown and underutilised opportunities to strengthen education. This is particularly relevant for entrepreneurship education, given the focus on stimulating autonomy, creativity, and curiosity. Although lots of money is being invested in innovating education with ICT, the current reality remains characterised by the insufficient connection between the educational vision and educational practice, and hobbyism is lurking. Teachers and their environment must develop new skills to fully utilise ICT’s potential. This website contains information about how to get the mix right; the main blended learning applications, design tools and practical examples. This site offers teachers a helping hand and insights to those who support or supervise teachers.

Craftsmanship for contemporary teaching; a tough challenge

Although technology offers unprecedented opportunities to strengthen education, craftmanship is required to realise this. Teachers not only need the knowledge of content and didactics; they must also be able to embed technology in their lessons in a way that ensures that their students are receiving the education they deserve. Additionally, they must pay attention to both individual and collaborative learning – a tough challenge.

What is Blended Learning?

Blended learning, briefly stated, is the well-thought-out combination of complementary and mutually reinforcing online and face-to-face activities, which can increase learning efficiency and student motivation. Blended learning can refer to a wide range of different variations. After all, the word ‘blended’ refers to a mixture that can consist of endless variations, which makes a uniform definition meaningless. The scientific literature on blended learning often refers to Vaughan, Cleveland-Innes and Garrison (2013), who describe it as the organic integration of thoughtfully selected and complementary face-to-face and online approaches and technologies. Important themes within blended learning include flipped classroom, e-learning, portfolios, peer feedback, knowledge clips and virtual reality.

TIP: Consult ‘Applications’ to learn more about these themes.

Why Blended Learning?

Through the use of technology, the interactions between students and their teachers are no longer limited to the classroom. Embedding technology can lead to asynchronous interactions, thereby making education more flexible. Understanding how technology enhances education precedes this.

How to Facilitate Effective Blended Learning

“Blended learning demands the fundamentally rethinking of course design to optimise student engagement and restructuring class contact hours”. Garrison and Vaughan (2008)

To facilitate effective blended learning, teachers must receive support from their school’s ICT and didactics experts. Moreover, they must be facilitated by their managers themselves – the time factor plays a crucial role. For the participants of the IXA Blended Learning Pilots, an online environment was set up so that they could also learn from each other. Within this environment, the participants have carried out assignments before, during and after their lessons. For several of these assignments, they were asked to use specially developed resources as practical aids.

TIP: Consult ‘ 'For practice' to learn more about these resources. One of these resources is the Estimate Course Costs Model, which makes it possible to calculate how much time it takes (re)designing and conducting lessons following a blended learning approach. This helps teachers with their time management and offers insight for managers.