Blended Learning - Not A Band Aid Approach

Blended Learning Implementation - A Holistic Approach (Not A Band Aid Approach)

Leadership and administration must take a holistic approach (not a band aid approach) to blended learning implementation.  Real designs [ Lev Gonick reveals the importance of well designed instructional materials and professional development for educational users] 

Prior to Covid-19, teachers showed resistance to implementation of blended learning primarily because of the lack of professional development. There was a lack of technological resources and significant concerns for students’ self- regulation. Many school districts now boast technology-enhanced learning environments that may support self-regulated learning. They provide opportunities for interaction, allowing for feedback and self-monitoring, using a method of cognitive apprenticeship, and supporting self-efficacy beliefs. When addressing technology deficits, school leadership must also address self-regulation.  Back when we started[Michael Chasen chronicles the growth of online learning platforms, from skepticism at first through slow growth and gradual adaptation and now it's become a must-have]

In this video:A new way of learning,[ Michael Chasen further explains the long term effects of the Online Learning experience] Administration is encouraged to capitalize on the trend where tech-savvy teachers help others to acquire technology skills in the absence of formal training. They should encourage these keystone (cornerstone) educators because people, practices, values, and technology are interdependent and individual participants play a crucial role in shaping the stability of the emerging blended learning system. 

Recommendations for policy and practice

With increasing emphasis on 21st century technology standards, the standardization of educational curriculums and assessments, policymakers and educators must give urgent consideration to creating policies that lower systemic barriers to the implementation of blended learning. These policies should encourage funding for technology infrastructure and professional development resources, particularly for mathematics teachers in schools ranked in DFGs A, B, and CD. ( expansion of scope)

Establish Minimum Policy Standards for Blended Course Designs.

In order to minimize risk factors associated with blended learning integration and improve instructional outcomes for students in communities with the lowest SES rankings, policymakers and educators should establish minimum policy standards for blended course designs including the adoption of course codes for blended courses. This will facilitate data collection and research on blended learning. Most of the research on blended learning has targeted adult learners. Ready access to reliable data will help policymakers and administrators assess the cost effectiveness and pedagogical efficiency of blended learning. It will also help them to better understand variations in the experiences of K-12 blended learners and provide quantifiable evidence that learning outcomes are at least equal to traditional lecture-based instruction.

States should specify minimum teacher (course facilitator) qualifications, establish criteria for course assessment validity and reliability, establish minimum “virtual seat time” requirements, and vendor appraisal parameters. These policy standards may address significant teacher demands for pedagogical efficiency in blended learning designs, eliminate barriers due to existing seat time requirements and clarify the roles of certified teachers (facilitators) in blended course delivery. They may also address significant concerns for student self- regulation by establishing clear standards, monitoring mechanisms, and performance incentives [ Eric Yuan expresses the opportunities and transformation the online learning platform offers its users]

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