A Review of Literature: Mix It up with Blended Learning in K-12 SchoolsReport as inadecuate

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The purpose of this report was to gather lessons on research-based best practices in blended learning for use by K-12 practitioners, a study commissioned by planning council members of the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC). After interviewing representatives from participating school divisions, questions driving the inquiry were compiled and organized into five themes, which were then investigated in the literature: pedagogy; content; professional development; tools and logistics; and the impact on student populations. The number of journal articles that directly addressed online or blended learning in K-12 settings was astonishingly low, therefore the requirements for resource review were broadened to include online learning and higher-education. Findings include the importance of shifting pedagogy in addition to changing the medium for instruction; a positive or neutral impact of blended learning formats on student achievement; student preferences for online coursework in more accessible and less technical content areas; the inclusion of reflective experiences in professional development for teachers; keeping virtual class sizes small enough for interaction and large enough for a diversity of opinions; and successful characteristics of online students as being motivated and self-directed. The report encourages practitioners not to become paralyzed by fear of the unknown, as preliminary research on blended learning is promising. Instead, practitioners should glean lessons of best practice from f2f and online learning pedagogies both including and reaching beyond the K-12 realm to include higher education and professional training in developing common sense approaches to blended learning program offerings. (Contains 1 figure and 3 tables.)

Descriptors: Blended Learning, Elementary Secondary Education, Literature Reviews, Best Practices, Instructional Effectiveness, Learning Activities, Electronic Learning, Academic Achievement, Online Courses, Student Attitudes, Preferences, Faculty Development, Class Size, Small Classes, Conventional Instruction, Difficulty Level

Author: Kassner, Laura

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=2273&id=ED548381

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