The term blended learning is generally applied to the practice of combining online and face-to-face learning experiences when teaching students. In a blended-learning course, students might attend a class taught by a teacher in a traditional classroom setting, while also independently completing online components of the course outside of the classroom. In this case, in-class time may be either replaced or supplemented by online learning experiences, and students would learn about the same topics online as they do in class—i.e., the online and in-person learning experiences would parallel and complement one another.
The term blended learning is sometimes inaccurately applied to direct instruction classes that simply incorporate the use by the teacher of a small proportion of resources that were hosted or sourced online.
In contrast, The Swiss American Academy implements a “Deeper Learning” pedagogy whereby students apply what they have learned in one subject area to newly encountered situations in another and can see how their classwork relates to real life. This approach results in:
- Mastery of Core Academic Content:Students build their academic foundation in subjects like reading, writing, math,
and science. They understand key principles and procedures, recall facts, use the correct language, and draw on their knowledge to complete new tasks.
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving:Students think critically, analytically, and creatively. They know how to find,
evaluate, and synthesize information to construct arguments. They can design their own solutions to complex problems
- Collaboration:Collaborative students work well in teams. They communicate and understand multiple points of view
and they know how to cooperate to achieve a shared goal.
- Effective Communication:Students communicate effectively in writing and in oral presentations. They structure
information in meaningful ways, listen to and give feedback, and construct messages for particular audiences.
- Self-directed Learning:Students develop an ability to direct their own learning. They set goals, monitor their own
progress, and reflect on their own strengths and areas for improvement. They learn to see setbacks as opportunities for feedback and growth. Students who learn through self-direction are more adaptive than their peers.
- An “Academic Mindset”:Students with an academic mindset have a strong belief in themselves. They trust their own
abilities and believe their hard work will pay off, so they persist to overcome obstacles. They also learn from and support each other. They see the relevance of their schoolwork to the real world and their own future success.