In its simplest definition, blended learning is when a student takes an online course with face-to-face support from a tutor, teacher, parent, or friend. According to iNACOL (International Association for K-12 Online Learning), one of the most important parts of blended learning is the “ ’element of student control’ emphasizing the shifting instructional models to enable increased student-centered learning, giving students increased control over the time, place, path, and/or pace of their learning pathways.” In other words, the student is in the driver’s seat. If this is a scary thought, keep reading to understand how the blended learning model supports student-centered learning.
When students move to an online environment for all or some of their high school course work, there is a learning curve: time management, goal setting, self-motivation, communication. It calls for a lot of skills that are often still coming together for most teenagers, which is why having a mentor, tutor, or teacher is so powerful. Having support--both for accountability and instruction--is often the game-changer for students. This blended concept allows them to still maintain responsibility for their courses while having consistent access to someone who can answer their questions, personalize their learning, or review an assignment.
We are obviously proponents of online courses, but also never sought to remove the teacher from the equation. Instead, we created a database of qualified instructors for our students to use so that they could find someone in their area who could support their music education in a powerful way.
Have you learned in a blended learning environment? Do you have questions about blended learning? Leave us a comment and let us know!