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Smoothies

June 14th, 2007 by Graham Attwell

More on last weeks B-learning project meeting.

I invited Tony Toole from the University of Glamorgan to speak at the meeting. The CELT centre at the university is doing some interesting work which deserves a bigger audience. I’ve never been particularly keen on the term blended learning. On the one hand it seems to state the obvious, on the other hand it is difficult to know what it means. The CELT website itself says: “The phrase ‘blended learning’ can mean many different things to different people. Indeed the definitional complexities take up lots of pages of academic reflection. Phrases like ‘e-learning’, ‘online learning’ and ‘technology enhanced education’ are also equally open to a range of interpretations.”

However, I can see the attraction of the term in allowing a focus on pedagogic approaches to the use of technology enhanced learning. The CELT web site goes on to say: “At Glamorgan we have adopted a definition of blended learning which is designed to locate the development of these activities within the wider University agenda of enhancing learning and teaching. We would argue that Blended Learning involves:

The thoughtful integration of face-to-face classroom (spontaneous verbal discourse) and Internet based (reflective text-based discourse) learning opportunities. It is not an add-on to a classroom lecture nor an online course; it is a fundamental redesign. It allows for an optimal (re)design approach to enhance and extend learning by rethinking and restructuring learning and teaching to create blended learning (Cf. Vaughan and Garrison 2005).”

CELT has produced an excellent handbook on blended learning – called ‘Smoothies’. It is available for free download from the web site and is well worth a look. I particularly like the practical approach and the provision of templates both for reflection and to develop additional resources for the web site.

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