Blended Learning – from the point of view of the consortium – means a teaching method, where face-to-face teaching is combined with distance learning. The teaching process is supported by the use of an appropriate learning platform. The term eLearning in this document refers to the platform-supplied distance learning.
Blended Learning as a teaching method
Blended Learning is a teaching method and no pedagogical or didactical concept. Blended Learning describes the technique used for teaching. The consortium sees this kind of teaching highly connected with the use of ICT. ICTs offer new opportunities but also new challenges for both instructors and students (Redmond 2011).
Teachers and trainers change their working place and reduce the time used in the traditional brick-and-mortar environment. Students get the independency to decide, what, where, when and how they learn during the distance learning.
Pedagogical access to Blended Learning
Teaching needs some pedagogical access. There are several different options for teachers. It makes sense to promote a learner-centered access to Blended Learning because it fosters active learning, student engagement and involves the students more intensively in the learning process. Weimer (2012) mentions in her blog the advantages of learner-centered teaching (engagement of students, explicit skill instructions, reflection of students, motivation for students for self-control, encouragement for students to collaboration). The consortium recommends a student-centered access to Blended Learning for optimized results in teaching.
Another important issue is the description of the learning outcomes: The learning goals should be defined competence oriented. Therefore, it is possible to split the learning outcomes to the face-to-face teaching and the distance learning. This access is practically realized in the Blended Learning Project “AKMAT” which is currently running at the University of Technology Vienna (Breitenecker, 2014).
Source: Blended Learning Quality – Concepts Optimized for Adult Education (book available from Amazon