IBLC 10 - Session - Mark Nichols's Keynote
Sure, it’s blended… But is it the BeST we can do? ‘Blended learning’...
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2 June 2010
Sure, it’s blended… But is it the BeST we can do?
‘Blended learning’ seems the latest term claimed by e-learning advocates. While it is clear that complementing face-to-face education with e-learning (which is how many understand the term ‘blended’) can result in benefits to learners, there are also significant challenges – and there is a danger that becoming ‘blended’ might be perceived as some sort of ultimate objective. This presentation considers the role ‘blended learning’ has had at Laidlaw College (formerly the Bible College of New Zealand), and suggests that becoming ‘blended’ was an institutionally useful yet pedagogically incomplete objective. Making real improvements to learning in formal education relies not on blending communication media or adding online discussion to on-campus meetings, but on adopting specific pedagogical approaches that do not necessarily require ‘blended’ media. Two specific frameworks for formal education are highlighted, both of which provide a context for ‘blending’.