Blended Learning Strategies You Can Implement Now
Knovva Academy Knovva Academy / April 04, 2018 / Blended Learning
Blended learning combines the best of online education with the most positive aspects of in-person teaching. Ultimately, blended learning lets high school students explore their own interests, at their own pace, while also receiving guidance and support from teachers in physical classrooms.
Blended learning may seem like it requires a major overhaul for implementation, but really, you can incorporate blending learning strategies into your already-existing curriculum. Ultimately, blended learning can give teachers class time to focus on higher-level learning, while allowing students to perform rote tasks or be more prepared for class using online tools.
Interested in learning more?
Here are five strategies we suggest for incorporating the best of blended learning into your day-to-day teaching habits.
1. Host class discussions online.
Instead of having in-class discussions that can be unproductive or difficult, online class discussions can help students, especially shy ones, share their ideas. Collaborize Classroom, a free, online tool, lets you design discussions or incorporate their pre-designed discussions into your curriculum. Students can then respond to posts with up or down “like” buttons, write their own comments, or respond to their peers.
Ultimately, online discussion boards can replace tedious, sometimes-isolating homework with collaborative processes. An added benefit is that students can see what their peers are doing, allowing them to better align themselves with standards. Our new free program, Living in a Connected World features this exact thing, allowing students to interact with their global peers, learning with and working together as a connected global community.
2. Build understanding with web-based modalities.
Often, students are often tasked with learning something new by reading a textbook or an article. While text-based learning tools are invaluable, they can be limiting, especially for certain demographics. Assigning students to engage with other modalities can help them better understand ideas.
One example of a multimodal, online platform is TEDEd, which lets teachers design or borrow lessons centered around TED Talks or TED YouTube videos. Customized lessons include options to ask students to “Think” – or answer questions – and “Dig Deeper” – explore additional resources associated with the topic.
3. Move memorization tasks online.
Teachers can free up in-class time by putting rote learning, memorization, or practice tools online. For example, an Intermediate Spanish class at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville moved its in-class grammar learning, memorization, and practice to the online environment. In the classroom, then, students had more time for practicing their oral skills and interacting with the instructor.
4. Create online testing.
Another time suck for the in-person classroom can be testing. Instead, students can take self-paced assessment exams that gives teachers invaluable information about the concepts they learn or the concepts that they are still understanding. Replacing tests, teachers can instead use participation in the assessment measures as a grading method.
For example, a statistics class at Penn State University used online Readiness Assessment Tests to ensure that they were reading the course text and completing their assignments. Ultimately, the completion of these online tests made up 30% of students’ overall grades.
5. Design flipped classrooms.
Instead of using class time for lectures, many teachers are turning to flipped classrooms, or classes in which much of the teaching is moved online so that the in-class instruction can be one-on-one instruction with students.
Some of the methods that can be used for this type of instruction include video lectures about upcoming course content or screencasts (or videos trained on a computer screen, rather than on a face). In turn, classroom time is opened for more student-centered activities. Students could, for example, pose questions about the video they watched, or instructors could assign real-world problems for groups to consider.
Blended learning can give teachers more class time interact with students while focusing on what they really enjoy teaching: complex concepts and ideas that build passionate students. With that idea in mind, implement these blended learning strategies to use your face-to-face class time for more elevated pursuits.
Tell us your thoughts! How would you implement blended learning in your classroom. Or if you already have, have you seen a difference in student engagement, lesson retention or student behavior?
If you want to quickly and easily start to implement blended learning into your classroom, Knovva is offering all teachers FREE access to our global social innovation program, Living in a Connected World starting April 30th. Virtual seats are limited, so sign up soon! Use this online course as a blended learning, flipped classroom module or have students work independently as curriculum enhancement.
Knovva’s signature offerings connect top students from around the world with visionary educators, experts, and innovators to gain the skills critical to 21st century leadership. From world class online courses to five-day intensive simulations to two-week immersion programs, Knovva students break down cultural barriers so they can rebuild a world without them.