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IBLC 10 - Session - Martin Oliver's Keynote
Myths and promises of blended learning While lots of people write about blended learning, it...
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2 June 2010
Myths and promises of blended learning
While lots of people write about blended learning, it isn’t always clear what is meant, or whether people are writing about the same thing. The purpose of this talk is to identify some assumptions and common assertions made about blended learning, so that these “myths” – claims that seem natural, because their historical and constructed status has been hidden rhetorically – can be explored and challenged. Such myths include the existence of purely online and purely face-to-face learning that can then be blended, ignoring the complex ways in which students learn; the idea that we should incorporate new technology because it is demanded by a new generation of students, ignoring the diversity of students’ experiences and evidence that technology use is not ‘generational’; and the claim that we can turn courses into learning communities through blended learning. Based on this critique, a more complicated picture emerges, highlighting the importance of learners’ purposes, choices and contexts. Throughout, I will argue that a body of work has developed that takes account of this messier, less controllable situation, and that we need to turn to this to as a basis for developing our thinking about blended learning.