Blended learning has been found to be very effective in improving grades for the average student. The effectiveness is very much based on getting just the right mix of face to face communication, and of the advanced technology of today’s world. Below are some overviews of the most interesting deployments of Online Blended Learning I have come upon. In future posts I plan to go more in depth into each one, and how they are putting it to use.
Acellus is a very powerful deployment of the blended learning principles. Pioneered by Dr Rog, Acellus has online courses, grades K-12, and some College courses. In the courses are included video instructions teaching concepts, the students are then given problems to solve, to prove that they have completely learned the subjects. They are then given reviews and exams, to show how well they have retained the knowledge, and if they are ready to move on. Where the blended learning comes in, is that as the students are progressing through the online course the Teachers at the School have a live monitor set up, so they can watch, and see the answers entered, and how fast the student is moving on, and then be able to assist individuals as they are needed and on a one on one basis.
K12 offers a combination of tools to assist in blended online learning. Started by Ronald Packard, K12 offers online lessons, and various online activities for the students, also K12 has available textbooks and workbooks, combining the online, with paper and pencil. The students also participate in virtual sessions scheduled by their teacher, where they are taught special instruction as an online class. These sessions, along with telephone interaction with the teacher, and other students, turn this into another popular blended learning program.
Connections Academy has worked to develop an online program, where they can have students advance in their curriculum, working with teachers and connecting with students in their online program. Begun by Barbara Dreyer, Connections has developed an “online engine” Connexus, with this students have access to online resources and lessons, and similar to K12, Connexus has live lessons where the teacher gives general instructions to the students. Also in reference to the blended learning aspect, Connections has gatherings, and field trips for the face to face interactions of a blended learning program.