Blended, also called hybrid, learning is started to bud out this spring in the field of lifelong learning.
The first programs to offer blended courses are being reported. For example, the first association is reporting a planned blended course to start by the end of this year.
Ozzie Logozzo, a LERN member and association executive head of the Ontario Real Estate College in Toronto, Canada, told LERN recently, “We offer courses via correspondence, classroom and online and have done so since 1997. We are currently mapping out a fourth delivery methodology for elite students who can handle blended learning in a virtual classroom. We anticipate that we will be able to pilot this product by year’s end.”
The topic of blended courses was a hot one at the recent LERN Leader Retreat in Tucson. LERN predicts that every program will make every face-to-face or in-person course blended in the next five years.
Blended courses engage participants and the teacher in an online classroom between in-person class meetings. Depending on the instructor and the course content, online activities may include instructor presentations, readings, quizzes and online discussion.
Participants, studies show, actually learn more in blended courses than they do in either totally in-person courses or even totally online courses. Popular with both teachers and learners, blended courses generally cut the number of face-to-face class meetings by a third or half and still increase the learning.
One financial advantage of blended courses is your program can put twice as many courses into the same amount of physical classroom space, thus increasing income without needing more space or incurring more space costs.
One marketing advantage of blended courses is that participants favor them, cutting down on babysitters, gas, travel time, and vending machine snacks. Teachers favor them for the same reasons, getting the same pay for less travel time and costs.
CERTIFICATE IN BLENDED INSTRUCTION
To serve both administrators in the field and instructors, LERN will premiere a Certificate in Blended Instruction this fall that will also have the option for participants to become a Certified Blended Instructor (CBI). The program will have three courses:
1. Creating Hybrid Courses
2. Advanced Teaching Online
3. The Flipped Classroom
The first course starts in September. For information, email [email protected]