Blended Learning in K-12/Characteristics of Blended Learning
What are the main characteristics of Blended Learning? What makes blended learning unique, different, special?
The term “Blended Learning”, while popular, has been subjected to criticism, mostly because the definition lacks specificity. (See section 1.1 "What is Blended Learning?")The term applies to diverse situations, including professional development in the business world, and technology integration in the K-12 and university settings, and describes a range of instructional practices. Indeed, one critical article has suggested that it is the very focus on instructional practices that is problematical, and that blended learning should instead focus on content from the learner’s, rather than the instructor’s, perspective. (Oliver and Trigwell, 2005) Although criticizing the terminology appears to be merely a discussion over semantics, the lack of specificity raises an interesting question: What are the characteristics of blended learning? A number of sources summarize the following characteristics as being unique to the blended learning environment.
Taking each of these point for point, we may attempt to characterize blended learning by examining its appearance point for point. In other words, by describing these blends as they should appear in a “real” context, we can begin to understand blended learning not as a textbook definition, but as a concept for learning and instruction in the Twenty-first Century.