This summary first appeared on Eduardo Sandos’s blog, ELT Bakery, and was reporoduced here with his kind permission.
May 2, 2012
The topic of last Wednesday’s evening #ELTChat on April 25 was How to combine face-to-face and online learning in blended courses? The experience with blended learning varied quite a lot among participants, which made the discussion really interesting. The #ELTChat was moderated by @ShellTerrell @SueAnnanand @theteacherjames. Thank you for great questions and for guiding us through such a rich chat! Four questions were answered throughout the chat.
What is a blended course?
Many participants gave definitions of a blended course. According to @SueAnnan It contains an element of f2f and online work. @DinaDobrou used Wikipedia’s definition: A mixing of diff learning environments. Combines traditional f2f class methods w/ more computer-mediated activities. @eltbakery quoted Sharma & Barrett (2007) “A language course which combines F2F classroom component with an appropriate use of technology.” @lissa77 added: Blended learning is when there is f2f classroom teaching along with some form of online/tech component.
How do we balance F2F & online components of a blended learning course?
@Aofemile suggested that content balancing depends on the course focus, learner’s needs and teacher’s skills. @Aofemile also stated that where learners have advanced IT skills put more content online, where internet access is problematic use more f2f. According to @ShellTerrell The balance will depend also on the teacher’s experience with blended learning & the tech involved. Good point raised by @eannegrenoble: Balancing content ? I find the f2f leads to the online – the online is an extension to what we do in class. @__CCE: The balance will depend also on the teacher’s experience with blended learning & the tech involved.
What are the factors that need to be considered when deciding the balance?
According to @ShellTerrell Age is also important in deciding on the appropriate balance. @TFilTeacher added: Age Appropriate Methods is crucial. We must know our students well so that we can challenge & motivate them. @tougo mentioned that the presence of teacher makes the difference, whether f2f or online (e.g. via Skype). @esolcourses suggested: The yardstick I generally use is whether or not they need my assistance to do it (some tasks don’t). @BrunoELT added: things that sts can discover by themselves & are motivators shld b dealt online. @irishmikeh added: relevance is the key. If it’S really relevant, chances they’ll do the online work is higher. For @antoniaclare it is important to integrate the ‘outside class’ work with the ‘inside class’ work to help with relevance. @esolcourses added: confidence, prev. learning experiences, and attitudes to tech can play a part as well.
What kind of content is better to teach asynchronously?
According to @SueAnnan You could do a large part of the theoretical stuff online, but the practical parts are better face to face IMO. The asynchronous part can be done at own speed. @Sandymillin added: no exp. of blended courses here, but I think reading-heavy or courses that need a lot of time to absorb bttr online. @JoHart mentioned that asynch works well for reinforcing activities, wtiting tsks etc esp if you use blogging, synch for initial intro of stuff & groupwk. @eltbakery mentioned: Regarding content, I believe extended grammar/vocab practice & receptive skills pract cause it can be done at SS own pace. @SphiaMav: I think the group element can work well asynchronously too especially online. @chiasuan: I’ve found adding webinars/recorded sessions to T Training courses very useful.
Links mentioned in the chat:
@JoHart: Just piloting strategy to try & instill online learning skills with literacy students: http://t.co/kIZm64KW
@eltbakery: Alternative Assessment for Busy teachers:http://eltbakery.edublogs.org/?p=1044
@sandymillin Would highly recommend the IH COLT for those wanting to find out more about online teaching http://t.co/kh2sCNSG
@pysproblem81 How do people use their VLE to support classes currently? This is BL, no? My ideas here: http://t.co/l6WjHzCF
@anotniaclare Blended learning plan for Speakout has just launched, so still a baby http://t.co/kPFmfmAw
The transcript of this chat can be viewed here.
About the Author
Eduardo Santos -
Teacher trainer, English teacher and Corporate trainer. Interested in Business English and Professional Development.
Recife, Brazil · http://www.eltbakery.com
7 Reasons Why Blended Learning Makes Sense good intro to topic and great image which was borrowed for this post.