Blended learning becomes more and more popular. My first impression about blended learning was that it was a mix of different teaching and learning activities. Actually, this is not how it is commonly defined. There could be different definitions, but in general it should consist of learning activities on campus and activities in a digital learning environment (online) . As online learning represents the trend of future, blended learning can be considered as a transition solution.
Blended learning relies much on electronic tools. But how to use tools to realize blended learning seems not clear to everyone. Many tools or technologies have been integrated in education, however, it doesn’t mean using such tools is called blended learning. The core issue of blended learning is still the instructional design. By using the technologies, teachers can restructure the lectures in order to increase the involvement and engagement of students .
The benefits of blended learning are many and obvious. One of the most important is that it makes the course design more flexible and provides teachers an opportunity to customize the teaching. In my teaching experiences, it is common to see that some students cannot catch up the pace of teaching due to various reasons, and as a result, drop out. Blended learning could be a potential solution. It is possible for us, as teachers, to provide more support through restructuring the activities to the students who have problems. In the meantime, blended learning can also free up some time for students that can be used for other activities, such as problem solving activities and collaborative activities. One of the advantages of online learning is students can take the lessons many times. This can definitely help students who need more time in digesting the knowledge. In addition, blended learning can enhance the interactions between teachers and students, which can meet the demands of students in a better way.