Breaking Down Barriers to Blended Learning Implementation

Despite the rapid growth of blended learning in post secondary institutions before Covid-19, there were systemic barriers to its implementation by New Jersey mathematics teachers in schools ranked in DFGs A, B, and CD. Covid-19 brings new optimism for blended learning implementation and has forced a change in many teachers’ perceptions of the barriers to blended learning integration. Many K12 schools have quickly learned how to minimize risk factors and improve instructional outcomes for these students in communities with the lowest socio economic status (SES) rankings. The optimism as explained by Deborah Quazzo (ASU+GSV) is mixed with concerns about digital equity. Lev Gonick addresses concerns regarding access and adoption of digital equity in Covid-19 era.  

Prior to Covid-19 teachers, students, and stakeholders in New Jersey high schools faced the same challenges implementing blended learning as those in post secondary institutions, including designing courses for optimal learning, facilitating teacher–student and student–student interactions, and facilitating effective technology integration and professional development. Understanding the experiences of high school teachers is an important prerequisite to effective blended course and design, since the effectiveness of blended learning is a function of audience, pedagogy, and subject matter. 

Educationally- effective blended learning course designs must align with the research literature, which indicates that, well designed blended learning models integrate the strengths of face to face instruction and computer mediated studies. Effective blended learning facilitates rigor, differentiation, real world application, and immediate feedback to students. There are many significant advantages of blended learning over face to face instruction, including increased student engagement, understanding, retention, and overall achievement. Delivery of learning [ Lev Gonick (ASU) outlines the digital transformation that has been enabled by Covid 19, and further explains the obsession of ASU to innovation of the online learning experience].


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