How to combine F2F and online learning in blended courses? #ELTChat Summary 25/04/2012

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How to combine F2F and online learning in blended courses? #ELTChat Summary 25/04/2012


copytright 2012 edtech digest Blended Learning


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:
@eltbakery: Alternative Assessment for Busy teachers:
@sandymillin Would highly recommend the IH COLT for those wanting to find out more about online teaching
@pysproblem81 How do people use their VLE to support classes currently? This is BL, no? My ideas here:
@anotniaclare Blended learning plan for Speakout has just launched, so still a baby

The transcript of this chat can be viewed here.


About the Author

Eduardo Santos


Eduardo Santos  – @eltbakery

Teacher trainer, English teacher and Corporate trainer. Interested in Business English and Professional Development.

Recife, Brazil ·




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