Effective Blended Learning: A Literature Review

 

Effective Blended Learning: A Literature Review

Gina Flanagan

Lamar University

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT…………………………………………………………………………………………..ii
TABLE OF CONTENTS……………………………………………………………………………iii

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND………………………………………………………….1

STUDY OF LITERATURE………………………………………………………………………….2

BLENDED LEARNING FLEX & A LA CART………………………………………………..3

EXAMINING APEX LEARNING TUTORIALS…………………………………………………..4

CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………………………….5

ENDNOTES………………………………………………………………………………………….6

 

ABSTRACT

Blended learning, the thoughtful integration of face-to-face and online learning is evolving as one of the most hopeful instructional practices in educational settings. Growing in response to the increasing need for flexibility and the demand to respond to diverse students’ needs, blended learning provides engaging and meaningful learning experiences.  This literature review explored the organization of using a blended course model for credit recovery and remediation with Apex Learning.

 

 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

As schools have better accessibility to the internet our education system is witnessing a dramatic change of teaching, one that is challenging traditional pedagogical practices and providing opportunities for transformation in education practices. Technology has extended the possibilities to enhance learning by offering flexible learning opportunities and preparing students for relevant and real-world studies in the workforce. It is naive to report technology alone is transformative; it is the underlying pedagogies rather; that support the use of technology that provide the potential to transform the learning experience. (New Media Consortium, 2014, p. 17) This literature review will provide an understanding into the potential of blended learning and recognize the definition of the evolving concept and its ability to improve student outcomes Beaver, J. K. (2015).  The education system has turned to Blended Learning as a way to promote innovation and personalize learning experience for students.  Through online learning students can proceed down different paths, providing consistency and mastery of content (Horn, 2015).  Studies show that technology has definitely influenced the classroom and the productivity of students.

 

STUDY OF LITERATURE

 Although blended learning approaches seem universal in K-12 education the term can be unclear and misunderstood. Blended learning is a comprehensive term. The term “blended learning” does not represent a large general approach to instruction. Instead, it is a comprehensive term for a number of different models of learning that blend the traditional or technology-enriched classrooms with online instruction.  Similar learning approaches exist that are mistaken for blended learning. Innovative, technology-rich instructional approaches such as personalized learning, customized learning, competency based learning, and cyber schooling contain similar basics as blended learning and may be confused with the blended learning approach.  Blended learning is still a relatively new approach in education regardless of its popularity, and there is a lack of research to document its impact on educational outcomes. Accordingly, much of the “evidence” is subjective and based on limited experiences in certain environments. These complications combined can understandably make blended learning seem like a vague, dynamic concept.   Blended learning has gained popularity because it increases the flexibility and individualization of student learning experiences.  The Rotation, Flex, A La Carte, and Enriched Virtual Model are the various blended learning models. The Flex and the A La Carte are models that will be explained and how they combine the different components of the blended learning definition into their approach.

 

BLENDED LEARNING FLEX & A LA CART

The Flex model a course or subject in which online learning is the mainstay of student learning and the teacher of record is on-site and provides support on an as needed basis.  Students learn mostly on the brick and mortar campus with this model. Student move on an individualized customized fluid schedule among learning modalities.  Students’ progress based on demonstrated mastery and customized learning by interest, modality, motivation and schedule.  The Flex model allows students to move at their own pace. For students with partial content knowledge but credit deficiencies, the ability to move quickly and test out of topics they have mastered may allow them to earn credits at 150% of the normal rate Ark, T. V. (2012, May 25).

The A La Carte model is a course a student takes completely online, the teacher of record for the course is the online teacher.    In blended learning there is a wide range of products and programs to choose from and in this review we will investigate Apex learning and their new ground breaking tutorials. This model is gaining popularity in high schools because it increases options by giving students the opportunity to take classes beyond what is already offered at their school Learning, A. (2016).

The-Flex-Model  a-la-cart

 

EXAMINING APEX LEARNING

Revolutionizing the classroom will happen in the way technology is introduced. The concept of giving students ownership of their own learning at their own pace is what is reported on Apex Learning. Apex has been created for use on desktop and laptop computers. Apex will transform tutorials in way where it will be accessible for all students. Apex learning will target students who need credit recovery options and personalized learning. Teachers can use the tutorials to offer remediation and to supplement the content that has already been taught in their classes. A rotation plan for can be configured for students to cycle through the computer lab for online learning with this type of program. Apex tutorials are the new ground breaking tutorials that are engaging, effective and easy to use. They are a new curriculum solution that is a new component of classroom instruction. Apex tutorials will integrate gaming and app design into the instructional approach. The organization of tutorials is learn it – try it -review it -test it this presents students with choices that motivate them. Students can learn at their own pace and achieve success Use Tutorials for Effective Blended Learning. (2016).

Apex tutorials address a range of instructional needs and software allows users to view reports on how each student is performing against the standards. The progress and performance data offers information to help guide lesson planning and differentiate instruction. Teachers can use the tutorials to offer remediation and to supplement the content that has already been taught in their classes.

 

CONCLUSION

Blended learning is more than productivity tools and electronic textbooks. It means inventing or adopting new learning environments that work better for students and teachers. Blended learning implies a shift to an online environment for a portion of the student day. It means giving students more control over the pace, path, time and place of learning. Baily, J., Ellis, S., Schneider, C., & Ard, T. V. (2013).  In conclusion blended learning provides new opportunities to reach every student, and provide them with a personalized learning experience tailored to their needs Learning, A. (2016). Technology must be integrated into the classroom environment at every grade level to prepare students for real world experiences in 21st Century workforce.

 

ENDNOTES

 Ark, T. V. (2012, May 25). 10 Reasons Every District Should Open a Flex School – Getting Smart by Tom Vander Ark – AdvancePath, blended learning, Connections Education, K12. Retrieved June 30, 2016, from http://gettingsmart.com/2012/05/10-reasons-every-district-should-open-a-flex-school/

Beaver, J. K. (2015). Defining Models and Examining Conditions to Support Implementation. Retrieved June 12, 2016, from http://www.phillyeducationresearch.org/projects/blended-learning/

Baily, J., Ellis, S., Schneider, C., & Ark, T. V. (2013). Blended Learning Implementation Guide. Retrieved June 12, 2016, from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/CSD6190.pdf

Blended Learning: Rotation Model. (2006-2016). Retrieved June 12, 2016, from http://www.readinghorizons.com/blended-learning/models/rotation-model

Baily, J., Ellis, S., Schneider, C., & Ard, T. V. (2013). Blended Learning Implementation Guide. Retrieved June 12, 2016, from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/CSD6190.pdf

Christensen Institute. (2015.). Retrieved June 12, 2016, from http://www.christenseninstitute.org/blended-learning/

ECAR, Dahlstrom, E., Brooks, C. D., Grajek, S., & Reeves, J. (2015). 2015 Student and Faculty Technology Research Studies. Retrieved from https://library.educause.edu/resources/2015/8/2015-student-and-faculty-technology-research-studies

New Media Consortium.(2014). NMC: Horizon Report 2014 K12 Edition. Retrieved from

http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2014-k-12-edition/

New Media Consortium (2015) NMC: Horizon Report 2015 K12 Edition. Retrieved from http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2015-nmc-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf

Learning, A. (2016). Apex Learning Introduces Groundbreaking New Solution for Blended Learning. Retrieved June 12, 2016, from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/apex-learning-introduces-groundbreaking-new-solution-for-blended-learning-220327171.html

 Lytle, R. (2011.). Study: Emerging Technology Has Positive Impact in Classroom. A Recent Study Highlights Educators’ Feelings of Goodwill toward Technological Innovation. Retrieved June 12, 2016, from http://www.usnews.com/education/high-schools/articles/2011/07/14/study-emerging-technology-has-positive-impact-in-classroom

Tucker, C.R. (2013). The Basics of Blended Instruction. (2013). Retrieved June 12, 2016, from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar13/vol70/num06/The-Basics-of-Blended-Instruction.aspx

Use Tutorials for Effective Blended Learning. (2016). Retrieved June 12, 2016, from http://www.apexlearning.com/curriculum/tutorials

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